WVBERKEL-L ArchivesArchiver > WVBERKEL > 2003-01 > 1042840231
From: LINDA SUMMERS <>
Subject: Re: [WVBERKEL] Looking for anything on Couchman family history
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2003 13:50:40 -0800 (PST)
thank you sara some of that may be my lines and any help you could find would be most happy thank Linda
Sara Patton <> wrote:I have no idea about your Couchmans in Berkeley Co but you may be
interested in the following report on the Couchmans who settled in the
South Branch (of the Potomac) Valley just west of Berkeley county in the
late 18th century. (Spelling may vary-Crouchman/ Couchman/Kautzman). While
you still have to fill in some blanks, this may help you on your way. John
Tevebaugh is a retired history professor. I will send your plea on to him.
THE COUCHMAN/KAUTZMAN FAMILY
of the SOUTH BRANCH of the POTOMAC
A Preliminary Report by John L. Tevebaugh
With two important exceptions, this family's surname on the South Branch of
the Potomac, between 1756 and 1800, was recorded in English as Couchman,
whether in Augusta, Hampshire or Hardy County's public records. The initial
exception was first recorded in June 1778 in a deed of land from Samuel
Beall to Charles Lynch, which noted that Beall's land was adjacent to that
of "the heirs of Coutzman."(1) This surname variation continued through
subsequent deeds to that tract: Feb 1779, Aug 1785 and Feb 1792. The second
exception appears on Michael Stump's Hampshire County, Virginia, census
lists of 1782 and 1784. In each of these entries for the son, Adam, Stump
submitted the name as "Coutzman." Throughout all these same years, all
other references to Adam and his sisters, Susannah and Margaret, were with
the Couchman surname.
Attempts to find the Coutzman surname (or its probable German equivalent,
Kautzmann) in 18th century Virginia have proved futile. However, recent
Couchman research in Indiana not only has found the sister, Susannah, but
also has provided very strong evidence for the German equivalent as the
original name.(2) From Sullivan County, Indiana, vital records, censuses,
and their two subscription county histories, we find daughter Susannah,
nearly 20 years after the death of her husband, John Wilson, who died in
Greene County, Tennessee, in 1809. She and 4 of her sons and a married
daughter all left Greene County at various times during the years 1828 and
1831 and settled in Sullivan County. The descendants of those children
always identified Susannah's maiden name as "Kautzman," and that surname
appears as a given middle name for some of her grandsons.(3) This use of
the German form of the surname, plus the very long life-span of Susannah
(she died in 1857 at age 94), gives full support to its existence and use
in that family.
The husband/father of this family was Henry Couchman/Kautzmann, who was
first recorded as being in the South Branch Valley at the sale of the
estate of one Christian Dousher at Michael Stump's on 03 Dec 1757. At that
time, that location was under the jurisdiction of Augusta County,
VA.(4) At some time between that and 1764, Henry purchased land from Eve
Thorn, widow of Tobias.(5) By the time Henry drew and signed his will on
04 Sep 1767, he had married a Susannah [surname unknown], and they had
produced three children: John Adam (b. ca1762), Susannah (b. ca1763) and
Margaret (b. ca1765). Henry died before the end of 1767.(6)
John Adam Couchman/Kautzman seems to have been the first child of Susannah
and Henry, born about 1762. He was a blacksmith by trade.(7) By 1782 he
had married Phebe See (d/o George See and Grisena/Christina Bogard); they
would have 2 children, neither of whom lived more than 3 years. One was a
daughter, the other of unidentified gender.(8) John Adam died sometime
between 13 Jan 1786, when he deeded all claim to his rights as heir of his
father to the husband of his sister Margaret Couchman Reed, and the 17th of
March 1786, when his will was proved in Hardy County.(9) Phebe, soon
childless, remained a widow; she signed her will on 25 Sep 1832, leaving
her entire estate to the children of her sister Mary Ann Craigen [Mrs.
John]; and died shortly thereafter.(10) Phebe may have gone to live with
Mary Ann after John Adam's death.
Susanna[h] Couchman/Kautzman also was born between 1760 and 1767, perhaps
in 1763.(11) Sometime before 1784 she married a John Wilson, most likely
in the valley of the South Branch in Hampshire Co., VA [now WV]. Family
tradition has her carrying their first-born, Adam Wilson, "on horseback the
entire distance" from VA to "East Tennessee" in 1785.(12) Like her sister,
Margaret and her husband, George Reed [Riedt?], Susannah and John Wilson
moved from the South Branch to what became Tennessee [first it was called
the State of Frankland, soon changed to Franklin, then while in federal
government hands as the Territory South of the River Ohio, and finally the
new state of Tennessee]. Susannah and John settled there in Greene County,
where they remained for many years. Their children increased to 11 by 1805:
Adam, b. 1784 in VA; David, b. ca1786 in Greene Co.; John, b. ca1788;
Elizabeth, b. ca1790; Peter, b. 1792; Susanna, b. ca1794; Margret, b. ca
1796; Millea [Amelia], b. ca1798; George, b. ca1800;, Charlotte, b. ca1802;
and Enoch, b. ca1805.(13) Further research in Greene Co. public records
should provide more specific data for these children, their marriages and
Late in 1828, of the above, Peter and John Wilson, along with their sister,
Millea, and her husband, George Welty, and their families, having left
Greene Co. earlier, arrived in Sullivan County, Indiana. Shortly after 1830
they were joined there by their mother, brother Adam and his family, and
[probably] brother George.(14)
Apparently the other children married and remained in Tennessee, although
some family members thought that a few had moved up to Kentucky. Here,
again, more intense research in both states should provide a clearer
picture. The Direct and Reverse Deed Indexes for Greene Co., 1785-1871,
indicate that much additional data should be found in the family deed
activity at the time of John Wilson's death in 1809 and after. The indexes
also suggest that sons David and Enoch remained there, and that David died
there in the late 1860s. These indexes also suggest that they would be very
helpful to Wilson family historians in sorting out members of the several
Wilson families there with similar male given names.
Margaret Couchman/Kautzman, like the others, was born between 1760 and
1767, probably about 1764.(15) Sometime before 1785 she married George
Reed[perhaps Riedt earlier].(16) Early in 1786, Margaret and George sold
their land rights and titles on the South Branch and joined a number of
their neighbors on the trek south to seek the new opportunities offered by
the new State of Frankland. They may even have made the journey with
Susannah and John Wilson. After a few months in the neighboring county of
Washington they returned to Hardy County, VA [now WV].(17) Their
re-establishment was not to be permanent, however, for by 1793 they had
begun to sell off lands and interests inherited from their respective
fathers. By the Fall of 1795, they frequently were referred to as "of
Bourbon Bounty," Kentucky in various deed records.(18) They were legal
residents of Kentucky by the end of 1796, and would remain there the rest
of their lives.(19) Little is known about their children [at this point,
at least], but the 1810 Census of Bourbon County lists George and his wife
with 9 young people in their home, 3 males and 6 females. The age
categories seem not to show young married couples among them. We anticipate
that further research in Bourbon County public records will disclose names
and approximate ages of the children, and, importantly, the eventual dates
of death for the parents.
This concludes the preliminary report about this family. Please consult the
endnotes that follow. One last point: some family searchers working with
South Branch families have maintained that there was a fourth
Couchman/Kautzman child named Michael. There is absolutely no valid, extant
evidence of such a child; and the name does not appear in the families
of John Adam, Susanna[h] or Margaret, while the others are frequently found.
John L. Tevebaugh
1. Hampshire Co., VA[now WV] Deeds, Bk. 5, p. 122.
2. Wolfe, Thomas J., ed., A History of Sullivan County, Indiana; . (2
vols., Lewis Pub. Co., 1909), pp. 76-77, 134-135; and History of Greene and
Sullivan Counties, State of Indiana;. (Goodspeed Bros. & Co, 1884), pp.
704, 763-764. Most of the search in Indiana is the work of Donna Cooper, a
3. See the two county histories in note 2 above.
4. Augusta Co., VA, Wills, Bk. 2, p. 307.
5. Augusta Co., VA, Superior Court of Chancery, 1796-1806 [Circuit
Court Cases Ended], Opinion and Decree, 1799, in the case of Craigen &
Couchman vs. Thorn.
6. op. cit., Deposition of Craigen & Couchman, 1799; Deposition of
George See, 1798. Henry's will was described in the chancery case, but
apparently was among the Hampshire County records destroyed during the
Civil War. Henry's wife, Susannah, married Daniel Tevebaugh a year or two
later. She was the mother of his five sons.
7. Hampshire Co., Wills, Bk. 2, p. 33, Will of Conrad Slagel, 08 Feb
1782. Slagel apprenticed his son to Adam to "learn the Smith trade."
8. Augusta Co. Chancery case, as above; and Hardy Co. VA[now WV],
Wills, Bk. 1, p. 1, the Will of Adam Couchman, probated 17 Mar 1786.
9. Hardy Co., Deeds, Bk. 1, p. 19, Adam Couchman to George Reed, 13
Jan 1786; and Adam's will as cited in note 8 above.
10. Hardy Co., Circuit Court Will Book 2, p. 31, the 25 Sep 1832 will
of Phebe Couchman.
11. The two county histories cited above in note 2 give her birth year
as 1763 and her death date as 17 Jul 1857, at age 94.
12. Hardy Co., Deeds, Bk. 4, p. 25; History of Greene and Sullivan
Counties as cited above in note 2.
13. These children all are named in John Wilson's will, signed on 08
Aug 1808 and probated 25 Apr 1809; see Greene Co., TN, County Court
Minutes, Oct 1802-Apr 1810, pp. 268-272, from Tennessee State Library and
Archives microfilm Roll # 147, entitled Greene County Settlements. Family
tradition in Indiana has John Wilson b. 16 Jun 1761 in what now is Hardy
14. See note 2 above; also 1850 Census, Sullivan County, Jackson Twp.,
pp. 509, 525-526, and Haddon Twp., pp. 422-423. Confirmation of birth
places and ages are in computations made from these census enumerations.
The 1830 Census of Sullivan Co. shows only Peter and John and the Welty's.
15. Bourbon Co., KY, Censuses of 1810 and 1830. The earlier one lists
her as born on or before 1765; the latter as being born between 1760 and
1769 [her father's death in 1767 limits this range].
16. Hardy Co., Deeds, Bk. 1, p. 12. George, in 1786 was once identified
as "Jr.," indicating another of that name in the area. George was one of 2
sons born to Elizabeth and John Reed [Riedt?] of the South Branch; the
younger son was John. It is possible that George's surname had been Riedt
and that his father had come to the South Branch from the Tulpehocken Creek
Palatine settlement in Pennsylvania.
17. Hardy Co., Deeds, Bk. 1, pp. 12, 19, 38, 134 and 167.
18. Hardy Co., Deeds, Bk. 4, pp. 24-25, 26, 28 and 61.
19. Hardy Co., Deeds, Bk. 4, p. 439; and Bk. 5, pp. 38 and 325-327.
Garret Glenn Clift found George Reed on an 1800 Bourbon County tax list;
see his "Second Census" of Kentucky - 1800, .(Genealogical Pub. Co.,
1982). Entries there are arranged alphabetically. See also the Bourbon Co.,
Federal censuses of 1810 and 1830.
At 09:58 AM 1/17/03 -0800, you wrote:
>This goes out to anyone living in the Berkley county WV area that just
>might beable to look around and find something on Benedict Couchman SR.
>and his wife Catherine ? maiden name unknow. Have been working on this
>line for a long time with others and we all cannot get past Berkley
>co. This is a very big brick wall that seams to be unable to knock
>down. So Please can someone give us a lead. Looking for his siblins and
>who is Catherine? Help please. Linda Summers P.S. we have
>all his children documented.
>==== WVBERKEL Mailing List ====
>Address your BERKELEY County List
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