The Early Pioneers of Virginia & West Virginia – Part IV

The Early Pioneers of Virginia & West Virginia 

A Retrospective Series on Ancestral Relations 

Subject 4 – Captain John Young (1760-1850) 

John Young was born in 1760 in Lancaster, PA to Conrad Young and Anna Margaretha Franciscus.  The story of how John came to be in Virginia can be found here (references can be found at the bottom of the page – there are many other places on the internet that repeat the same story). John Young married Keziah Tackett Townsend on May 20, 1799.  She was the widow of John Townsend, who was killed during an Indian raid  on Fort Tackett c. 1787.  The other stories surrounding John and Keziah are easily found on the internet.  John’s service record for the Revolutionary War and as a spy and hunter are well documented (there is a 59 page pension record on Fold3 that is pretty amazing).  Keziah was the daughter of Lewis Tackett and Mary (surname may be Grace or Crace).  There has been so much written about John Young and Keziah Tackett, that all anyone that is related to them has to do is an internet search on their names, and they will be duly rewarded with a plethora of information. 

For now, what I’d like to concentrate on is how my wife is related to John Young and Keziah Tackett.  Starting with these latest records and progressing back in time: 

  1.  1940 Census Record for my father-in-law, Richard O. Midkiff, son of James M. Midkiff and Thelma Deel. 
  1. Marriage Record for James M. Midkiff and Thelma Deel for 2 Feb. 1924. 
  1. Birth Record of Thelma Deel (11 Dec. 1906), daughter of Andrew Brooks Deel and Ada Riley. 
  1. Birth Record of Andrew B. Deel (22 Sept. 1878), son of Levi Nathan Deel and Mary E. Naylor. 
  1. Marriage Index for Levi Deel and Mary Esther Naylor: 

Image courtesy of Ancestry© 

  1. 1860 Census Record for Stephen Naylor (head of the household) and Eleanor Strickland with 6 children, which includes Mary E. Naylor. They were living next door to William Naylor and his wife, Elizabeth, along with 2 young boys, James and Michael Deel, the brothers of Levi Nathan Deel.  William Naylor and Elizabeth Young were the parents of Stephen Naylor. 
  1. 1850 Census Record for Stephen Naylor (head of the household) and Eleanor Strickland with 5 children, which includes Mary E. Naylor.  Again, William Naylor and wife Elizabeth with daughter Keziah are living close to 3 of their sons families, which includes son Stephen Naylor. 
  1. History of Charleston and Kanawha Co. WV – Big Sandy District – William Naylor and Stephen Naylor 
  1. Marriage Record for William Naylor and Elizabeth Young: 

Image courtesy of Ancestry© 

  1. Sometimes, the best information we can gather is not based on actual records, but it is    the best we have.  I found a book called “The Tacketts in Kanawha County, Virginia” by Erna Young Johnson, 1969. Page 32 specifically states that Elizabeth Young that married William Naylor was the daughter of John Young and Keziah Tackett.  At the bottom of Page 32, it also states that the births, deaths and marriages were taken from a Bible, the Young’s graveyard at Young’s Bottom and a few records. 

The Big Sandy District link above based on the book “History of Charleston and Kanawha County West Virginia and Representative Citizens”, W.S. Laidley, Richmond Arnold Publishing Co., Chicago, 1911 was a surprise to say the least, as it something I had not seen before.  It is often refreshing to get actual quotes from ancestors that are interviewed for a publication or taken from previous interviews during the lifetime of an ancestor.  The same applies for an interview that Keziah Tackett Young gave in 1847 to a reporter from Cincinnati regarding events at Ft. Tackett.  Keep in mind that not every word out of an ancestors mouth is necessarily the truth, but, for the most part, it gives us some credence to the records we find for the events in our ancestor’s past. 

The other item I found on the internet that peaked my curiosity was the notion that Elvis Presley is related to the same Tackett family.  However, according to the Tackett Family Association, there is no, nor has there ever has been any evidence that this connection exists.  The connection breaks down with Elvis’s great-grandmother Martha Tackett Mansell.  Martha may not have been a Tackett at all, but at this time I am not going to argue the points of this here.  Sometimes, it’s better just to leave well enough alone. 

One last note here…besides John Young and his family being friends with the Morris families, and both John Young and some of the Morris brothers being trustees for the charter of Charleston, VA (now WV), there is another connection between the Young and Morris families.  John Young and Keziah Tackett had a son named John.  He married Elizabeth Morris James, the daughter of Jesse James and Mary “Polly” Morris.  Mary “Polly” Morris was the sister of my wife’s 4x great-grandfather, John B. Morris, and the daughter of Henry Morris and Mary Byrd. 




WV Ancestry 

West Virginia Culture Births, Marriages & Deaths© 

Featured Image: 

Coal River near St. Albans, WV courtesy of (a location that was well known to John Young) 


Cheryl, my wife who’s inspiration and support of my research, and the daily love she gives me makes every day possible for me. 

3 thoughts on “The Early Pioneers of Virginia & West Virginia – Part IV

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