John  Gatwood was in Virginia January 13, 1663 when he witnessed a deed gift of 219 acres made by Thomas and Jane Button of Farnham Parish, Rappahannock County, to Charles Goodrich. This may be the first record of our name in the Colonies. It was the first I found.   One year later, January 4, 1664, he witnessed the signature of Jane Button who relinquished dower rights to Thomas Corbyn. Because of these transactions, we know that John had some kind of education and could read and write. We also know he had to be of age by the date of these transactions.

June 2, 1666, Colonel John Catlett brought into Rappahannock County, Virginia, ten individuals as immigrants. John Gatwood was one of these men. Again on July 1, 1666, he was one of seventy-three immigrants brought into Virginia by Mr. Thomas Button. It is my belief this was his final trip and when he began his new life in the new world. It is unclear whether these people were indentured. In the case of my ancestor John, I know that when he died, he was the owner of many acres of land which he left to his heirs. I am proud of his accomplishments, no matter where he came from or who his ancestors were.

John was married to Amy (Aimee) Magrah ca.1680. There are nine children listed in John’s will. John and Amy owned approximately four hundred acres of land by 1704.  They were living along the Rappahannock River in Virginia. This is where they were when the Susquehanna Indian Nation made their attack. I think this was a small group of Indians, many had left the area and many had died in prior wars. It is believed that the Gatwood’s knew the Indians quite well. The reason for this belief is because the Indians best friend and interpreter lived adjacent to the Gatwood family.

John had a will made November 14, 1706 and probated January 10, 1707 in Essex County, Virginia. It states that he was a planter and he leaves large acreage to several sons. All his children are listed by name.

Amy married a second time to Joseph Baker. Joseph Baker was a wealthy merchant and when he died, he left most of his wealth to Amy and her Gatwood children.

I believe that Amy Magrah was born in Virginia. It is possible her father was Thomas McGraw/Macgrah, a planter in Essex County, Virginia. When Thomas died he left a will on November 21, 1722. In his will he leaves everything to John Gatwood and his son Phillip as well as James Gatwood. John and James are the sons of John Gatwood and Amy Magrah and Phillip is a grandson. In the will, he refers to James as a “friend”. Amy and her son in law, David Scott witnessed this will. All this seems to indicate that they were family. If this is true, Thomas McGraw/Macgrah would prove a tenth generation!


Warren Albion Pace was born October 19, 1834 in Effingham County, Georgia. This man is not a blood relative of mine, but that has never kept me from a good story. My great-Aunt, Ora Odessa Whetsel (sister to my Grandma-Orella Ortega Whetsel) was married to James Goodlow Pace and Warren Albion Pace was James father.

In 1860, Warren Pace married Mary Elizabeth Drummon. They had one child, a girl named Cora. At the start of the Civil War, Warren took his wife and child to the Savannah, Georgia area to stay with his family. He joined the 7thGeorgia Confederate Calvary in May of 1862. On June 24, 1864 he was hit by a mini ball that shattered his left elbow. In September of that year, he was in Salem Church, Virginia and told to return home. They could not afford to let him take a horse, so he took off on foot to return to Savannah. He had to go through Sherman’s lines. There was nothing left when he reached his family. Everything was gone! They had no food! Mary and Cora were in poor condition.

Warren then commenced to walk about 150 miles to Hawthorne, Florida, where Mary’s family lived. He would get a mule and cart. When he returned to Savannah, he put Mary and Cora on the cart and he walked them back to her parents’ home. Cora was small and always frail for the remainder of her days, but Mary died the same week they arrived at her parents. The death record says she died from consumption, but the family said starvation. This all is so sad, but it was also a new beginning as the War had ended.

In 1866 Warren married a widow named Henrietta (Fossell) Evans and they raised a family of ten children. Warren Albion Pace died in 1932. He was one month from his ninety-eighth birthday.


My paternal Grandma, Mary Alice Delong was the fifth child born to James Thomas Delong and Martha Alice Duddleson. She entered this world on November 17, 1898. Since she was several years younger and the only girl in the family, I would assume she was a bit spoiled. The family had another girl who died just a few months before Mary was born. Mary was not a tall woman. She had lots of black, curly hair. In the 1900 census, Mary was 2 years old with her family in Bloom Township, Fairfield County Ohio. Her father was a farmer and owned his land. I don’t believe these were rich people, but they appeared to be living a comfortable life and had everything they needed. I have located a newspaper account of a paternity suit filed by Mary when she was eighteen years old. The defendant was William Aumock, Jr. He was only sixteen years old at the time. I have yet to see any further stories or documents on this subject. Nor have I found a marriage between Mary and William. I do know that the child was named Lawrence Aumock. This child was my Dad’s half-brother. When Mary and Lawrence joined the Alfred Gatwood family; Grandpa had a twelve-year old son, Tarlton. Together they soon had another boy, my Dad, James Alfred Gatwood. There were two girls born as well; Martha Belle and Alice Marie. Martha Belle died before she was two years old. Mary took her son Lawrence and her daughter Alice with her when she left her husband, son and stepson. They were divorced before the 1930 census. In that census Mary is living in Columbus, Ohio. I don’t think she ever lived on a farm again. Maybe she did not like that life. It was very hard. Even in modern times you have to work seven days a week and vacations are almost nonexistent. Mary was married for a second time to Harry Knighton. I am told that his nickname was Boots. Working on this part of my family, I found his tombstone and there it was; “Boots” at the top of the stone. At the time of her mother’s death in 1937, her name was still Knighton. I found the newspaper obituary for Martha Duddleson (Mary’s mother) that is how I knew she was still a Knighton at that time. I know the marriage ended in divorce, just not the exact date. Her third marriage was to someone with the last name Moody. I don’t remember a Grandpa with that name, but I remember this was her name until her fourth marriage to Howard Smith. She was still married to Mr. Smith at the time of her death. Unfortunately, I only have the marriage record to Alfred Gatwood and Harry Knighton as well as a few pictures. Genealogy is always a work in progress. You just keep digging to add bits of information to your work. It was not often, but I always loved to go to Grandma’s house. I got to take bubble baths and she had fancy stuff and pretty bottles of perfume. She gave us melba toast to eat with coffee that had lots of sugar and milk in it. She was a special Grandmother and the only “City Grandma” I had. She was always dressed nicely. She was active in Machinist Union District 52 AFL, past Finder Lodge 1651, retiree club of District 52, Women’s Auxiliary of Machinist 361 and a member of the board of YMCA. She was well known as a Union advocate. She had several strokes until the final one that took her life. She died on April 21, 1971 in Columbus Ohio and was buried in Green lawn cemetery.


Buffington is my mother’s birth name. I grew up knowing many cousins, aunts and uncles as well as great aunts and uncles and my mother’s cousins. So when I began my genealogy research, I was most curious about my Dad’s family, thinking I knew so much about Mom’s family.

Knowing many people who are related to you does not mean you know their history and origin. I was shocked when I started my research on this family and found my knowledge left a lot to be desired. Furthermore, the name is so common that it is very difficult to follow my Mother’s line. When you look up William Buffington, you find so many that without lots of statistics to go with the name, you are “dead in the water” so to speak. I will continue to research this family and hopefully be able to connect us to their arrival in United States.

Although I was unable to go back to the “beginning” with the Buffington line I more than made up for it with the lines that married into the Buffington’s. These are the Whetsel, Neal, Allison, Maddox and Arnot families. Every family line can be traced back to the American Revolution! When my Grandpa Buffington married my Grandma Whetsel, he made these clans into one big family. We are American through and through. We might have blood from other countries, but mostly me and my clan are Yanks from way back.


According to census records, Susan McCarty said she was born in Pennsylvania. She also said her parents were born there as well. Susan was born in February 1838. Susan McCarty was my maternal 2x Great Grandmother.

I found Susan in the 1850 census as a twelve-year-old in Scioto County, Ohio. She was living with her brother, James McCarty. I do not know her parents or their fate, fortune nor their names.

Susan McCarty was first married to Harrison Imes. They married in 1853.

In the 1860 census for Lawrence County, Ohio, Susan and Harrison have two boys, George and Frank. They were expecting a third child when Harrison left for the Civil War in 1861. Within three months Harrison was dead. Just two weeks after his death, Susan gave birth to their third child. This time a girl was born, Mary Alice Imes. It was November 1861. Here she was, 23 years old with three little children and she was a widow.

In August of 1862 Susan McCarty married Joseph Buffington in Vinton County, Ohio. Together they would have three more children, all boys.  The first of these boys to be born was my Great Grandfather, William Sherman Buffington. I will write more about him at a later time.

In the 1870 census Susan is with the Imes and Buffington children in Jackson County, Ohio. Joseph is not counted with this family.

Joseph Buffington was born in March 1835. Like Susan, I do not know who his parents were.  Joseph Buffington was born in Virginia.  I have found two Joseph Buffington’s enlisted in the Civil War records that could be a possible match, but with limited information on him, I can’t identify a record as his.

Joseph Buffington married Susan McCarty Imes on the 27th of August, 1862. Joseph was on the marriage record as well as the birth and death records of his children; Stephen Edward Buffington, Hiram Buffington and William Sherman Buffington; but I was unable to find him  on a census record.

Joseph was dead by 1880, when Susan was listed as a widow in the 1880 census for Elizabeth, Lawrence County, Ohio. William (my Great-Grandfather) was fifteen years old and working as a laborer. The oldest boy (George Imes) was no longer living with this family. There were five children listed plus a baby named Myrtie. Myrtie was the child of Mary Imes (daughter of Susan McCarty and Harrison Imes).

In 1900 census Susan (McCarty) Buffington was in Scioto County, Ohio with Frank Imes. Frank was one of the sons she had before she married Joseph Buffington. I have not been able to find a death certificate or cemetery record for Susan, but obviously she died sometime after 1900.

I will end this story, just as I titled it, A Genealogist’s work is never done.





Jesse Arnot was the son of William Truesdale Arnot & Mary Garten and was my maternal first cousin 4x removed. He was born November 15th, 1812 and died May 11th, 1896.

The family lived in Monroe Co. Virginia.

Another fact of interest is that after Jesse’s mother died, His father married Lucinda Handley. She was the daughter of William Hanley and Margaret Henderson. When Jesse married, he married the sister of his step-mother, Elizabeth Mary Handley.

Elizabeth’s father was devoted to the study of the planets and taught her about the mysteries of astronomy. At the time, this was not a subject that was commonly studied.

Mary worked tirelessly for the Methodist Episcopal Church. She was an asset to ministers and other important people. It was said that she was wise in her judgements. She, along with her husband, Jesse, were instrumental in the establishment of the Methodist Orphans Home in 1865. She devoted much of her time and energy to this cause for the remainder of her life.

Jesse and Mary were married in Monroe County, Virginia. They had three daughters:  Mary (Alfred Bradford) Ann (Michael Murphy and Margaret (Samuel Hendle).

Jesse and his brother Anderson left Virginia and relocated to St Louis, Missouri, where they opened a livery business. They had the only four-horse hearse in the Midwest.

When President Abraham Lincoln was killed, the mayor of St Louis asked Jesse to lend his hearse for the funeral.

The hearse carried the body of the assassinated president from the train station through Springfield, Illinois to Oak Ridge Cemetery.

It is said that Jesse wanted to drive the four horses with just one hand and tied the reigns to enable that. He also tied his tie in the same way; this is now known as the four-in-hand knot. As time has passed, Jesse, who was always an ordinary business man, became a folk character.


Daniel Henry Whetsel was my Great Grandfather.

Daniel Henry Whetsel was born 6 January 1848 in Jackson County, Ohio. His father was Jacob Whetsel and his mother was Verlinda Maddox. There were eight children born to this family. Five of the children died of typhoid prior to Daniel’s birth. He grew-up with an older brother and a younger sister.

This family of five moved to Iowa in 1854. Many others relocated there around this same time. From my family’s line: Neal, Whetsel and Maddox were among them. By 1859, some of the relatives returned to Ohio. Daniel’s father, Jacob was able to buy his farm back.

In 1869, Daniel was twenty-one years old. He attended Wilkersville Academy in Vinton County, Ohio. He taught school in addition to preaching at the Methodist Episcapal Church.

On 15 April 1874 Daniel Henry Whetsel married Samantha Angeline Neal in the Neal family home. Samantha was the daughter of Thomas Neal and Belinda Allison. This couple would have eight children; four boys and four girls.

After 1876, Daniel took up farming and continued to preach.

Daniel retired as a minister and sometime after 1920, he and Samantha moved to Grove City, Ohio. Several of their children lived in the area, so I imagine that was the reason as they were getting older.

On 22nd of March 1923, Daniel Henry Whetsel died. He was 75 years old at the time of his death. His death certificate states that he died from heart failure. It was also noted that he was paralyzed on his left side. He was returned to Jackson County for burial in the Fairmont cemetery. Samantha died of pneumonia on 7th of June 1930 and she was also buried in the Fairmont Cemetery.

Anyone who follows my blog knows I have a few writings from my mother about her family. The following is what she had written about her Grandpa:

My mother’s father, Daniel Henry Whetsel, was a shouting Methodist minister. His prayers were especially expressive and long. As children we dreaded the evening prayer time, because of the length of those prayers. We had visited our grandparents in Jackson, Ohio and had returned home to Carlisle, Indiana. One day LaMar and I turned a kitchen chair upside down and took turns “preaching”. Mama caught us and spanked us for making fun of grandpa. However, years later as she told the story, she had a smile on her face. I’m sure she thought the prayers long, too, since many of them were for her.