This page follows the generations of the Via family, as I descend from them. The following links operate within this same page - click on the Via you want to see.
FIRST GENERATION: Robert Via, Sr.
In the first place, how and when did the Via name come to America? There has been much research done on this topic, and it appears that an Amer Via was among the first, emigrating from France around 1675 and taking up in Manakintown, Virginia (near today's Richmond). He married and set about the task of populating the New World with Vias. I can't make a definitive link to this character, so I won't treat the subject with much detail, but much information regarding the early Vias can be found on Sandy Spradling's Via Family History Page, and specifically within her page on a transcription of a report by Michael M. Via.
Robert Via appears in St. Pauls Parish, Hanover County, Virginia (just north of Richmond) by 1788. In August of that year, there is a record of him transferring much of his estate to Robert Via, Jr., including slaves, horses and cattle, furniture, and pewter dishes. Senior notes in this deed that two of the slaves are to go to his wife Fanny Ann Via "during her widowhood or as long as she shall use them well". As he refers to her impending widowhood, it would seem that Robert Via, Sr., wasn't holding out much hope for an extended lifespan. Since there was more than one Robert Via, I won't speculate now which was which - although there is a Robert Via, Sr., on the list of taxpayers from Hanover County from 1782-1812, and a Robert Via, Jr., from 1785-1815. So it is possible that Senior survived his acre, whatever it was, until his estate is listed in 1815 (also Hanover County). Further, there is a Robert Viar transferring land to a William Viar (both of Wilkes County, NC) in Wilkes County, in the western mountains of Carolina. This Robert is of reasonable age to think he was the husband of Fanny Ann, creating another possibility for speculation (in some pure conjecture, it is possible that Robert Sr. was rewarded with land in Wilkes County, NC, for Revolutonary War service to the government, and left Fanny Ann in Patrick Co., VA, while the land was improved).
At any rate, Fanny Ann Via (the daughter of Alexander Ingram of Botetourt County, VA. - who knows how she ended up in Hanover) moved to Patrick County, Virginia (not too far from Wilkes Co., NC), where her brother James Ingram deeded her 96 acres in 1795. Likely, she brought children James, William, Sarah Amer ("Sallie"), and Ann Via with her to Patrick, but not Robert, Jr., who may have been an adult. George Washington Via, in his brief history of the Via family, states that "Some time near the close of the eighteenth century, William, James, Sallie and Nancy Via
came to Patrick County, from Amherst County, but evidently raised in Henrico County, near
Richmond, Virginia"1. I would think he meant Hanover County, but at any rate by this point in history, any doubt about this Via line is unnecessary, as records are clear to the present.
SECOND GENERATION: William Via
William Via, son of Robert Via and Fanny Ann Ingram Via, was born on April 13th, 1779. In a shocking development, William married his first cousin Sarah Elizabeth ("Sallie") Ingram, daughter of the James Ingram mentioned above, in Patrick County on May 30, 1800, or May 31, 1807, depending on which record is to be believed. Actually, this is not shocking, it was relatively commonplace due to the fact that the Appalachian region was still relatively sparsely populated with white people at that time, there was often large distance between families. But the further shock - Sallie, born in 1787, was 13 years old, according to the 1800 date given in the Patrick County Marriage Register. Since she got an early start, she was therefore easily able to produce nine children, six boys and three girls, before calling it a career at age 34. Among these sons, Alexander and Flemon are treated below, both being direct ancestors of mine (other children of William and Sallie Via). William Via died in Patrick County on February 21, 1839, two months and a few days shy of his sixtieth birthday; Sallie Ingram Via held on until April of 1842, which still left her only 55 years old. She also died in Patrick County.
THIRD GENERATION: Flemon Via and Alexander Via
Flemon and Alexander Via were two sons of William and Sallie Ingram Via. Flemon was born on the 14th of June, 1808 or 9, and Alexander was born in 1804, both in Virginia, but I'm not sure where.
Alexander Via married Frances 'Fanny' Wright, the daughter of Robert and Sally Wright, on the 13th of March, 1828, in Patrick County. According to information I have, Alexander fathered 5 children in his life, two boys and three girls. One of his sons was my ancestor William Via, born in Patrick County in 1829.
Alexander lived to the ripe old age of 35, dying on the same day as his father, February 21, 1839. This is either in error, or there was an incident which killed both. Fanny Via lived until January 26th, 1881, when she died of 'old age' (according to the Patrick County death record).
Flemon Via married Mary 'Polly' Corn, on the 26th of October, 1835, in Patrick County. This union produced 10 children, six boys and four girls, one of whom, Martha Adeline Via, was my ancestor. Flemon was a farmer, probably of tobacco. Many of his progeny were also farmers - in the 1860 census, his adult male children (William, Jesse, and James, ages 23,21,and 20, respectively) were all still at home engaging in 'farm labor', though William and James had acquired 'personal estate' of their own. Flemon lived to see the age of 85 - on June 25, 1893, Flemon died of 'dropsy', according to the Patrick County death records (dropsy is an edema, or swelling, often caused by kidney or heart disease. Dropsy would be called congestive heart failure today). In the same death records, Flemon's wife Mary Corn Via died of 'liver complaint' on the 20th of November, 1896 - at least she waited until she was 84 to complain about it.
FOURTH GENERATION: Martha Adeline Via and William Via
FIFTH GENERATION: William Alexander Via
Martha Adeline Via and William Alexander Via, with their entourage: daughter Luna Ingram to the left, son-in-law Harvie Wilson in the back left, grandson John Akers Ingram (holding the kid who is jumping up and kicking), granddaughter Myrtle Ingram (far right).
PLEASE NOTE: I stopped updating the web page around 2001, but I've continued to work on my project. My family history is now in Word document format, with the goal of publishing it once I consider it to be as complete as I'm going to get it. While I'm greatly indebted to those who have assisted me in my research, I'm finding that the demands of everyday life don't allow me to consistently respond to email inquiries. So, I'm offering my most up-to-date volume for sale, at a price of $19. For those interested, it is at 118 pages right now, printed by a laser printer on 8.5x11 32-lb./98 brightness paper, and wire bound. The table of contents, revision history, and index are available at the following links. To order a copy, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll send it within 3 days of payment. If you indicate the family line you are interested in, I'll send you a new bound copy if and when I update my research for that line. Thanks,
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