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Fleming Wadkin Waldron family and Jonathan Grooms family story

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Location: Bedford County, Virginiamap
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(Assembled and written July 1, 1974 by Ernest Lyle Secrest, Orlando, Florida)

Fleming Wadkin Waldron was born in Bedford County, Virginia, January 28, 1849, married Barbara Ann Watson 1867. She was born January 11, 1848. They had a total of 6 children, 4 boys and 2 girls, including Hester Gertrude Waldron Secrest, my mother.

He lived there on the farm where he was born his entire life span of 83 years, growing the most of what was needed to live on, such as corn, wheat, oats, a few cattle and hogs, tobacco (a cash crop, all types of fruit and a good garden.

He could not read or write, but he was a successful farmer, and owned a good farm of about 150 acres, which he purchased after the death of his father, Beverly D. Waldron, who had owned it.

All of the buildings on this farm were orginally built with logs, as most were during the early 1800's. The dwelling is still standing, but has been modernized several times and all of the logs are now covered up. The other buildings - barns, tobacco houses and slave quarters - fell victim to the elements in the early 1900's.

My grandmother, Barbara Ann Watson, told me the slaves belonged to Beverly D. Waldron and their quarters was a log building out at the foot of the long field going up the side of the mountain. At that time it was half rotten and falling down. She was showing me the big old black iron pot that was still there and was what the slaves used for cooking their food in over a fireplace or an open fire outside, depending on the weather.

The following people are buried there in the family burial plot - Fleming Wadkin Waldron, Barbara Ann Watson Waldron (their) one son and one daughter - Oscar Fleming Watson and Hester Gertrude Waldron Secrest, Tilden Secrest and the two Secrest babies.

This place is now owned by a Mr. Ted Dameron (1974-bjs). To reach this place - going East from Montvale, Virginia on Highway U.S. 460 - about 3 miles turn right onto State Road 726 and continue for about 2 more miles, then turn right into a private road leading up a valley. The will take you up to the home on top of the hill.

Beverly D. Waldron married Nancy Moorman May 4, 1820. They had a total of 11 children, 9 boys and 2 girls. Six of their sons - Paschal, Samuel, Burrell, Griffin, Henry and William served in the war between the States. Several were in Company I, 34th Virginia Infantry. Fleming and Robert being the younger ones - their mother set their ages back so they would not have to serve.

William, Burrell and Henry were killed at Seven Pines, Virginia, and are buried on top of Porter Mountain (Bedford County, Virginia) on the old Burrell Gray farm, now owned by Mason Cook (1974-bjs). In 1935, the D.A.R.'s placed headstones or markers by their graves. Beverly D. Waldron and his wife Nancy Moorman are also buried there.

Burrell Gray married Mary Jane Waldron - the daughter of Beverly. They lost 4 sons in the war between the States also. One of these sons was shot in the head and sent home to recovery. After recovering he returned to his Company and was killed in the next battle. (This is very hard to believe - but I have just learned that this historic cemetery has recently been destroyed with a bulldozer leaving nothing of historical value.)

At the time Beverly D. Waldron was buried there was 15 inches of snow on the ground and he had to be taken up the mountain on a sled pulled by horses. The Waldron farm being at the foot of Porter Mountain and better than 2 miles to the top, and almost straight up in places.

To date (1974-bjs) we have no record of where Beverly D. Waldron came from, but his wife, Nancy Moorman, was the daughter of Jacob Moorman and Katy Grooms Moorman, they married March 6, 1799 Katy Grooms Moorman was the daughter of Jonathan D. Grooms. (Another daughter - Nancy Grooms - married Jacob Atkinson September 22, 1800). This making Jonathan D. Grooms a great, great, great, great grandfather of my son, Ernest Lyle Secrest II.

Jonathan D. Grooms was born February 5, 1756 in London, England, and was brought to this country while quite young. The manner of his leaving London was interesting, a stranger offered to bring him to this country and without letting his people know he left, never to return or see his parents again, as this country and his native England were at war for about seven years, and not much writing was done in those days either.

While a resident of Bedford County, Virginia, he enlisted in February 1777 to fight against his native England, serving 4 months in Captain Terrell's Company as a Private in the 5th Virginia Regiment. He enlisted again in the Fall of 1780, at which time he lived in Botetourt County, Virginia, serving three months as a Private under Captain Pauling, Patton and Major Reid in the Virginia Troops.

After that he came back to Botetourt County and married Elizabeth Moon, and returned to Bedford County in 1781, where he spent the balance of his life. The Record Division in Washington, D.C. states that the last payment of his pension covered the period of six months from September 4, 1840 to March 4, 1841.

He either purchased or staked out a very large tract of land in the Bore Auger Valley area to hew a home out of the wilderness. While cleaning up a piece of land one of his small children started to go where he was working and was never seen again, though the search was made for weeks. His wife, Elizabeth, never recovered from the shock and died. Also, it has been said that this child got into quick sand near "Bar Wallow" on her way up the mountain to see her father where he was helping a neighbor "raise a house". ("Bar Wallow" was a pond in the creek where bears would come to wallow and play.)

The farm he owned in the Bore Auger Valley was since known as the Ike Wade Place, near Robert Stiff's (G332) farm on Gimblett Creek, which was then a part of the Jonathan Groom's Farm. He is buried there on the Robert Stiff's old place about one quarter mile back of the house. About half-way between two old cemeteries there is a headstone that was placed there in 1935 by the D.A.R.'s that reads - "John Groom Prit. 5 Va. Regt. Rev. War".

He no doubt owned a very large tract of land there in Bore Auger Valley at one time, as the record of the Bedford County Court House shows between the period of 1792 and 1833 he sold and deeded large tracts of land to various people - Lewis Atkinson, William Miller, Jr., Joshua Adkisson, Marquis D. Gray, Irvin Bowles and John D. Patterson, and on December 3, 1836, he deeded to Reubin Atkinson his personal and real property of 220 acres (by patent) given to him to take care of him for the balance of his natural life.

On April 21, 1841, Mr. Grooms stated that he had been a resident of Bedford County for the last 60 years. No doubt he must have passed away shortly after this date by the date of his last pension.

Note: This story was written as an introduction of the family tree worksheets package that Ernest Lyle Secrest I and Claude Wayne Secrest researched and made available to family members in 1974. I have included this to share some of the history of these family. BJS

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