The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Webb Family As I See It

By Kelly D. Webb © 1987

Issue: September, 1987

In the year 1606 the Webb family turned their thoughts toward a new land. They had been Englishmen for many years; the exact time has yet to be discovered, for they were residents of Glouster and the surrounding area of Gloustershire, England. One member of the family came to America in 1607, however, he rebelled against the rules of Sir Thomas Dale and was executed. There is a record of the Webb clan being in Virginia from that point to this day. George Webb came to Virginia on the Supply ships in 1609, and later Thomas Webb and Giles Webb are found to be in the eastern counties of Virginia.

From available records it appears that Giles Webb served in the House of Burgess 1658–1660 and had four sons. One of the boys married Mary Bedwell, in Richmond County, Virginia. His name was Isaac and his son John married a daughter of Theodorick Carter, in Henrico County, Virginia. John had a son named John, who was the father of the boys that moved to Franklin County, Virginia. Three of these sons, Jacob, Cuthbert, and Theodorick settled on Blackwater River in Franklin County.

Jacob Webb had a son Henry, who married Susannah Cocke and moved to the upper area of Big Reed Island Creek in Carroll County, Virginia. Henry and Susannah raised ten children. One of these children was Andrew (little Andy) Webb, who married Catherine Cocke and they raised 11 children. Of these 11 children one was Andrew (Big Andy) Webb who married Charlotte Padgett. From this marriage there were 10 children, however, only 9 reached adulthood.

Big Andy was quite a wag and loved to play jokes. Mr. John Alderman related a story to me about Big Andy being involved in a brush clearing job. It seems they had piled the brush and were burning it. Big Andy had taken off his coat and laid it over a pile of brush, and someone picked it up and hid it behind another pile of brush, unknown to Big Andy, then set fire to the brush where the coat had been laying. When Big Andy saw the fire he spoke up and said, "boys I had a twenty dollar gold piece in the pocket of that coat." Immediately, the coat was brought out of hiding and the pocket was searched reveling one large one cent piece.

One of Andrew and Charlotte Padgett Webb's children was a son, William Andrew Campbell Webb, later to become known as Billy Webb. With a remarkable name like this, one has to wonder how he acquired the nickname Billy. He was born on December 7, 1860, on Snake Creek, Carroll County, Virginia. Evidently his father had an interest in education that he passed on to his son, because Billy learned to read and write at an early age. Billy continued his interest in education by reading any book available and qualified himself to become a teacher. He was required to read a given number of books each year to keep his qualification as a teacher. No doubt, there are families in Carroll and adjoining counties that owe their interest in education to this man.

William Andrew Campbell Webb was known as a stern disciplinarian and an exacting teacher. His caustic remarks are known to have left their imprint in the memory of some of his students. However, those that attended his school remember that he showed no favoritism and called on all to do the best they could. As a self taught educator, I am told, he was excelled by none, and he was respected for his ability by all.

Love came to Billy Webb when he was about 22 years of age and he married Martha Emily Goad October 24, 1883. Martha was the daughter of Henry (Black Bob) Goad and Amy Semones. A few years after Martha was born, her mother developed a mental illness and was unable to care for the five girls, Martha, Sarah, Mary, Louise, and Ruth. Other families in the area took the girls in and gave them a home. Martha went to live with John Pat Webb when she was about 8 years of age in 1871.

Almost every family suffered heartache in losing loved ones to the dark hand of disease and the grim fortunes of the Civil War in the 1800's. William Andrew Campbell Webb lost four older brothers and sisters to the Diptheria epidemic in 1863, and other Webb families lost as many as four sons to the ravage of the War. Heartache was to remain with Billy Webb because his firstborn child, Ambrose Edward, was to die before his fourth birthday, in February 1889. He was laid to rest in the Thompson–Webb Cemetery, where his grandmother and grandfather, Charlotte and Andrew Webb were, later to join him. There were seven other children born in this family to bring love, light and comradeship to the home of Billy and Martha Webb.

Sylvan Andrew was the next child born in the Webb family. He married Lulu B. Marshall. Next came Eugene Coleridge, who married Fannie Walters first and later he married Letitia Lavender. Then came Viola Charlotte, who married Jack Lyons. Viola died when she was 21 years old. The next child was Ardella Theresa, who married Walter J. Bishop. Then there was Marion Franklin, who married Ruth Lewis, then later he married Kate Lugar Foster. Jesse Fowler was the next born and married James Robert Anderson. Flora Inez was the youngest child and married Isaac Hugh Self.

About 1898 William Andrew Campbell Webb moved his family from the Montgomery House on Snake Creek to a house on Panther Creek when he changed from the Gladesboro School to the school on Panther Creek. In those days a school teacher worked for little or no pay, and Andrew was always trying to keep the wolf away from the door. Mr. Charlie Vass, who was with the Chamber of Commerce in Chicago, Illinois, sent Andrew a new typewriter to help with his school work. A year or two later the Webb family moved to Rock Road, near Newbern and Dublin, Virginia, where Andrew taught in the Locust Grove School. The farm, on which they lived, was later sold to become part of Claytor Lake.

In 1908 the family moved to Sylvatus, Virginia into a house across the creek and up the hill to the left of H.W. Bolt Wholesale Grocery House. They purchased this house and moved it up the railroad toward the Sylvatus Station, on the same side of the railroad. This was home for the Webb family until one sad February day in 1929 when Martha Webb died. Billy Webb was the school teacher at Sylvatus School until he was unable to continue. Earlier, he had taught school in Indian Valley, Floyd County and Littlevine School in Carroll County.

He remarried in 1930 to Jane Utt Martin. The ceremony was performed in the parlor of Mr. and Mrs. George W. Lewis and witnessed by some of his children and grandchildren. William Andrew Campbell Webb died May 23, 1934 from Pillagra, a word I am unable to find in my dictionary today. This was caused by a deficiency of the vitamin B complex, I am told.

The Webb tribe has, forever, stamped its mark on Carroll County and the surrounding counties. There are many families that can trace their lineage back to Isaac Webb of Richmond County, Virginia, and on back to the Island of Great Britain. From there the roots go through the people of Scotland and Ireland, through the people of Europe to a land South and East of there. Other families in Carroll and surrounding counties that are intertwined by marriage with the Webb family give strength and character to the people of the area. Descendents of the families moved Westward and gave leadership in forming new states. In history, one finds names of these families in West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and California as well as Oregon. In forming new counties in Virginia there were calls for copies of "Webb's Virginia Justice", evidently this was information for setting up county courts.

Yes, they came to a new land full of hope and the expectations of a better life. Life for the Webb family in the Tidewater area of Virginia was good, but there was the urge to move westward. From Henrico County to Goochland, through Buckingham to Amherst and Albermarle, through Campbell to Halifax, Pittsylvania and Bedford and finally to Franklin and Carroll Counties they came. Other Webb family members moved on toward the West, while the ones that stayed in Virginia dug in their roots and strived for a better life, some found it, some did not. Our legacy is to continue the search.

Kelly D. Webb
Route 1, Box 125
Concord, VA 24538