Sunday, September 18, 2022

Asby Pool--My Paternal Great Great Great Great Grandfather

     I did have a good chuckle when I checked the blog I did in 2009 listing Asby's grave marker.  At the conclusion I mentioned that I need to do a more extensive blog soon.  It's taken me thirteen years.  Perhaps it has taken me this long to tackle a blog about an ancestor who's history is chronicled in numerous sources.  I hope to do him justice. 

     My paternal great great great great grandfather, Asby Pool, was born on June 4, 1787 in Hampshire County, Virginia, the son of William and Easter (Esther) Pool.  The Pool family made their home near Hanging Rock, Virginia.  Asby was the fourth child born into a family of fifteen children.  His name has also been spelled Ashby, Asbury, Asberry and Ashberry.

Asby Pool
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut,
U.S., United Methodist Church Records, 1775-1949 

     As a young man, Asby was admitted to the Methodist Church in Cumberland, Maryland.  At the age of twenty-three he entered the ministry at an annual conference held in Baltimore, Maryland on March 9, 1810.  Asby was a circuit rider, preaching the word of God in numerous towns.  Among the areas are Rockingham, Virginia, Prince George, Virginia and the Mahoning Circuit of the Pittsburgh Conference in Monongalia.  At this time, 1813, he located in Morgantown.  Next was the Redstone Circuit, Monongalia Circuit, Harrison Circuit, back to the Monongalia and last the Harrison in 1822.  Asby was active from 1811 through 1825

     During the early 1820's, Asby helped to organize the Bethel Methodist Church which was constructed in 1828.  Following a division within the Methodist Episcopal Church in the early 1820's, the Methodist Protestant Church was formed.  Reverend Pool was one of three organizers of a Methodist Protestant church in Monongalia County in 1833. 

     Two years after he relocated in Morgantown, on September 26, 1815, twenty-eight year old Asby married thirty year old Vilender Lanham, daughter of William Lanham and Catherine Ferguson.  The wedding took place in Monongalia County, (West) Virginia.  Early pioneers, the Lanham family removed from Prince Georges County, Maryland to Monongalia County, the Morgantown area.  Vilender was born in Monongalia County in 1785.

     Vilender spent all of her marriage taking care of the children and managing the household, while Asby was out riding his church circuit.  The Earl L Core newspaper article mentions that, "The later years of his life were spent on the farm willed to him by William Lanham, his father-in-law."  To the Pool family eight known children were born.

  1. William Lanham Pool, born June 1817, died October 7, 1911, married first Ann Louise Frum (MY PATERNAL GREAT GREAT GREAT GRANDPARENTS) married second Sarah Clark Runner.  I have also seen the year of William's birth as 1816.   
  2. George Henry Pool, born 1818, died February 6, 1881.
  3. Catherine Esther Pool, born 1819, died September 13, 1858, married James Laws Donley.
  4. John Asby Pool, born December 19, 1820, died November 1, 1892, married Rebecca Spangler.
  5. Mary T. Pool, born December 12, 1822, died June 21, 1906, married Josiah W. Hoffman.
  6. Anna Vilender Pool, born 1824, died June 25, 1898, married James S. Bowlby.
  7. Alexander Ferguson Pool, born May 28, 1825, died March 1, 1891, married Mary Anderson.
  8. Theophilus Pool, born 1828, died, 1893, married Persis Armedia Wood.
     I will admit that I have spent hours filling in the blanks of Asby and Vilender's children.  Piecing together various records and family charts at my disposal, I think I finally have them in the right birth order and death dates.  

     Vilender Lanham Pool died between 1828-1830, probably in Monongalia County, (West) Virginia.  I have not found a death record or her burial place,  

     Asby remarried on September 14, 1830 in Monongalia County, (West) Virginia.  His second wife was Christina Smith born in 1801 in Maryland.

     Asby and Christina added four additional children to the Pool family.
  1. Hamilton Smith Pool, born September 1831, died May 3, 1910, married Mary Asine Davis.
  2. Walter Greenmont Pool, born about 1833, died August 28, 1861, married Sarah Jane Murphy.
  3. Nancy Jane Pool, born November 17, 1837, died 1896, married John Henry Davis.
  4. Harriet Pool, born 1843, died May 3, 1868, married Rufus E. Weaver.
1838 Map of Morgantown
Listing the owners

     When Asby first arrived in Morgantown, he began to purchase lots in Morgantown.  Listed on a 1838 map, Asby owns Lot # 41, Lot #103 and Lot #108.   Over time, he purchased substantial amounts of land.  In 1855 he bought 75 acres on Decker's Creek, now known as located in the Jerome Park neighborhood of Morgantown.   

     Asby continued to preach and was actively involved setting up new churches in the area.  He sold his Lot #108 in Morgantown to the Methodist Protestant trustees and in 1842 and a church was built.  

     There are records dating to 1850 listing Asby as the minister performing marriage ceremonies in the Monongalia County area.  On page 98 of the Callahan book it appears there was an unspoken race among pastors in the number of marriages performed.  Apparently there was a local doctor who also officiated weddings, Dr. Charles McLane, Sr.  

"In the stimulation of Cupid, by 1824, according to lists of marriages reported to the county clerks office, he (Dr. Charles McLane, Sr.) followed as a close second to Rev. Asby Pool, who had suddenly attained the first place which had been held since 1808 by Rev. Joseph Shackeford.  In 1834-36, while still in close competition with Pool, he saw Shackleford again temporarily reach the lead and thereafter for six years he was second to Rev. Peter Laishley, who assumed the lead but after 1842 he held the lead until 1850 when he retired from active matrimonial officiation and when the business of both Pool and Laishley was reduced by new competition." (Callahan, page 97 & 98.)

     By 1846 he was retired from active ministry and he served as school commissioner in District 8.  In 1838 Asby served as a surveyor for several local roads.  

     Asby was in court twenty times from 1820-1850, primarily in actions involving debt.  In the majority of these court cases, he was trying to collect a debt.  

     As quoted above, Asby spent his later years on a farm willed to him by William Lanham, his first wife's father.  Since he purchased the land in Jerome Park in 1855, where his burial marker is located, it would lead me to think that the farm where he lived was not there unless he purchased an adjoining piece of property.  The old adage, follow the land, has simply confused me with my 4x great grandfather. 

     I do not have a copy of Asby's obituary.   Robert Poole Wilkins lists that it appeared in The Morgantown Weekly Post, January 26, 1867, page 3.  "DEATH OF REV. A. POOL--Rev Pool died Friday morning January 18th in the 80th year of his age."  A more extended account was written by G. G. Westfall in the same newspaper, February 9, 1867, page 2.  

     There is confusion regarding the date of his death.  The obituary lists one date, the Monongalia County Courthouse records show January 1866 and a, "family record says he died on his farm of a carbuncle on March 6, 1868."

Copy of map showing Pool Cemetery location
in the Jerome Park neighborhood

     Dr. Robert Poole Wilkins notes, "Pool Cemetery located on Asby Poole farm west of Hartman Run ravine.  All trace of burials is obliterated and Asby Poole marker stands in a residential neighborhood." 

     In August, 2006, I made a trip to Morgantown to locate family burial sites.  These photographs of the Reverend Asby Pool memorial are ones that I took.  The marker is on the corner of Montrose and Mineral Avenue in the Jerome Park area of Morgantown.  

Pool Cemetery area
Marker for Reverend Asby Pool

One side of memorial

Other side of memorial for
Reverend Asby Pool

United Methodist Minister

In Memory Of


     The inscription at the bottom, I cannot read; however, what I can make out, it appears to have the date it was erected and by whom. 

     Listed in Cemetery Readings in West Virginia, Monongalia County, Volume 1.

#28  Pool Cemetery, near Richmond Avenue Bridge, Monument
Erected in 1903 by Mrs. Mackey, fenced. (was not fenced when I visited)  Commemorates the family of Asberry Pool.  For stone readings, see page 163.  Page 163 states.  No readings,  and family.

     Mrs. Mackey was Mary Ellen Pool, daughter of Walter Greenmont Pool and Sarah Murphy.  She is the grand-daughter of Asby Pool and his second wife, Christina Smith and was married to Dr. Horatio Nelson MacKey.

Asby Pool's Last Will and Testament

     The Will is found in West Virginia U.S. Wills and Probate Records, 1724-1985, Wills 1819-1957, Author:  West Virginia County Court (Monongalia County); Probate Place: Monongalia, West Virginia.  Will date, August 30, 1866.  Probate date, February 1867.

     A separate blog will be the transcription of Asby Pool's Last Will and Testament.    

     I have gone down the proverbial rabbit hole with Pool Rocks, a known geological area outside Morgantown on what was Asby Pool's property.  

Asby Pool Blogs on Flipside

-POOL, ASBY--Last Will and Testament    

-POOL, ASBY POOL--My Paternal Great Great Great Grandfather

-POOL, REV. ASBY--Tombstone Tuesday

-POOL ROCKS--A Place No Longer on the Map

Thank you to my friend and cousin, Dr. Robert Poole Wilkins, my paternal second cousin twice removed, who unselfishly shared much of his research on the Ferguson, Lanham, Frum and Pool Families during our correspondence in the 1990's.  He sent me a copy of his manuscript, "The Poole Family of Hampshire and Monongalia Counties, West Virginia being principally descendants of the Reverend Asby Poole (1788-1867) of Morgantown, as well as associated members of the Ferguson, Morgan and McRa Families."

Cale, Freda Robinson, Poole Family, personally bound, no date.

Callahan, James Morton. History of The Making of Morgantown West Virginia A Type Study of Trans-Appalachian Local History, Morgantown Printing and Binding Company, Morgantown, West Virginia, 1926. pages 97 & 98, 117 & 118.

Core, Earl L. The Monongalia Story A Bicentennial History III Discord, McClain Publishing Company, Parsons, West Virginia, 1979.  pages 21, 38, 94, 107, 161, 189, 277, 326, 412, 483, 603.

Core, Earl L. The Monongalia Story A Bicentennial History IV Industrialization, McClain Publishing Company, Parsons, West Virginia, 1982. pages 280, 310

Core, Earl L. The Monongalia Story, Asby Poole rode local circuits many years, newspaper article, newspaper and date unknown.

Wiley, Samuel T., History of Monongalia County, West Virginia, From It's First Settlements to Present Time, Preston Publishing Company, Kingwood, West Virginia, 1833. pages 363, 444, 593, 688.


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