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19-Year-old Boy Buried–James Russell Clere, grandson of James and Caroline “Grandma Gray” (Slone) Yates, is laid to rest in Laing, W.Va. near Kayford in 1944 after being killed in action in France during World War II. He never had a chance to have his own family.


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Jacob and ‘Gliding Swan’ Castle

Jacob Cassel/Castle

(This info is from: Paul L.A. Stapleton)

Joseph’s Father was Jacob “The Hunter” Castle, Sr. his wife was Sowege, a Shawnee Indian and thus all of his children were half native american. I am descended through at least two of his grandchildren that I know of. Two of Joseph’s daughters, Nancy and Sarah.

Jacob Castle, Sr., born Abt. 1717 in Lancaster County, PA; died April 01, 1789 in Holsten River Area, VA. He was the son of 1120. Peter Cassel and Catherine Elizabeth Unknown. He married 561. Sowege (Gilding Swan) Shawnee Indian.

Sowege (Gliding Swan) Shawnee Indian 1430, born in Western PA 1431; died Unknown.

Notes for Jacob Cassel, Sr.:
Jacob Cassel the albino frontiersman,

Jacob “The Hunter” Cassel, Sr.:
Jacob Cassel/Castle, had at least eight wives all Cherokee except Sowege, who was his first wife. Sowege was a Shawnee Indian from PA and the mother of his first born Jacob, Jr..
Jacob was known as “The Hunter”. He was the one of the Earliest Pioneers in Southwest Virginia and the area called Castlewoods, VA is named for him. During the French and Indian War, Jacob was accused of Treason by siding with the Indians, but he was aquitted, though accounts say it was probally true since he had strong ties to the Cherokee and Shawnee Tribes. Jacob is mentioned in the Chronicles of Southwest, VA as well as his son Jacob, Jr.. It is often hard to figure out which Jacob they were referring to in the records themselves. It is not clear how many children Jacob Sr. had, besides Jacob Jr. there is though to be several more sons and daughters, many of which lived in the Cherokee communities and may have forsaken the Castle name for there given Indian names. Two other sons have some evidence as being a descendent of Jacob. Benjamin Castle and Joseph Castle but it is unclear if they were his sons with Sowege or one of his other wives. The timespan would suggest Sowege as their mother.

Jacob Castle of Castle’s Woods

Here is some of the information gathered on Jacob Castle.

Much has been written and speculated about Jacob Castle and the Castle family. I do not pretend to have all the information but I will list what I feel is relevant to historical research. I will have to rely on some traditional information and theories. I will indicate what is fact and what is theory.
Jacob Castle was probably of German stock, most likely Palatinate. The first record I find of Jacob Castle is when he appeared on the 1738 Tithe List for Orange Co., VA. Also appearing on the list was Jacob Stover.
On June 25, 1740, Jacob Cassell purchased 200 acres of land from Jacob Stover in Orange County, VA for 40 pounds current money (Orange Co., VA Deed Book 4, pages 47-48). On June 26, 1740, Jacob Cassel sold 75 acres to Jacob Coger for 17 pounds Pennsylvania money (Orange Co., VA Deed Book 4, pages 52-54). On September 23, 1742, Jacob Castle leased 125 acres in Orange County to Elizabeth Downs for 5 pounds current money (Orange Co., VA Deed Book 8, pages228-230). This document goes on to say that the 125 acres is the remaining part of the original 200 acres purchased from Jacob Stover after having sold 75 acres to Jacob Coger.
On November 27, 1740, the estate of Jacob Stover, deceased, was sold (Orange Co., VA Will Book 1, pages 202-206). Some of the purchasers were:
Jacob Stover [Jr.]
Capt. Patten
Jacob Castle, who purchased one heifer, one sorrel mare, and a Negro wench
On March 26, 1741, Jacob Stover [Jr.], Henry Downs, Gent., and Jacob Castle entered into bond unto Thomas Chew, Gent., for 500 pounds (Orange Co., VA Will Book 1, pages 140-141). Jacob tover [Jr.] was administrator of the estate of Jacob Stover, deceased.
On May 30, 1741, Jacob Castle and Henry Downs, Gent., entered into bond unto Thomas Chew,
justice, for 100 pounds (Orange Co., VA Will Book 2, pages 154-155). Jacob Castle was guardian of Abraham Stover, orphan of Jacob Stover.
Note: Orange County, VA consisted of all of southwest Virginia at the time of the above entries.
In Augusta Co., VA, a survey for Jacob Castel was made on February 24, 1746 “lying on Woods
River containing one hundred and eighty acres and is bounded as follows viz Begining at a line on ye bank of ye River & runeth N5 W80 po crosing ye River, runeth N35 E80 po to a white o & hiccory, S65 E260 po to a sycamore bush on ye Riverside, S19 W150 po crossing ye river, N65 1/2 W 226 poles to the Begining.”
In Augusta Co., VA Court Order Book 1, page 130, is an entry for a road ordered from Adam
Harmon’s to the River and north branch of Roan Oak, Adam Harmon overseer, with the following workers: George Draper, Israel Lorton and son, George Hermon [Harmon], Thomas Looney, Jacob Hermon [Harmon] and three sons, Jacob Castle, John Lane, Valentine Harmon, Adren Moser, Humberston Lyon, James Skaggs, Humphrey Baker, John Davis, and Frederick Stering and two sons. The date is November 19, 1746.
From Augusta Co., VA court records is an attachmennt against Jacob Costell, Philip Cable, and John Lamme’s estate on February 17, 1748 in which the three are charged for having announced that they were going to the French Dominions on Mississippi and such desertion would be harmful to the English in the war with France.
Adam and Valentine Herman [Harmon] were jailed in 1748 in Augusta Co., VA for violent robbery of the goods of Jacob Castlean.
In Augusta Co., VA Court Order Book 2, page 105, is an entry for Jacob Castle being charged by Adam Harmon with threatening to aid the French. Castle is ordered to be arrested and brought before a called court on the next Monday. The date is May 17, 1749.
In the same book, on page 130, Jacob Castle is acquitted of the charge of treason in going over to and assisting the French. The date is May 22, 1749.
In the same book, on page 371, is an entry for a road ordered from Ezekiel Calhoun’s to Wood’s
River thence to top of ridge between Wood’s River and the south fork of Roanoke. John McFarland and Joseph Crockett to be surveyors of former and William Crisp and William Pellam of latter part, with tithables, and the following: Henry Batton, Mordecai Early, John McFarland, Jacob Goldman, John Downing, John Goldman, Charles Sinclair, Nathaniel Wilshire, William Sayers, William Hamilton, Humbertson Lyon, Frederick Carlock, Robert Norris, James Miller, James Cave, Samuel Montgomerie, Steven Lyon, John Conley, Andrew Linam, James Willbey, Samuel Stanlick, James Maies, Robert McFarlin, James Harris, John Vance, John Stride, Robert Miller, Alexander Sayers, John Miller, Jacob Castle, Robert Alcorn, John Forman, and William Miller. The date is May 23, 1750.
In the Augusta Co., VA Court Order Book 7, page 391, is an entry for John Weltshire, Alexander Sayers, and Jacob Castle to view and report the value of improvements by John Staunton on two tracts on the New River. The date is November 19, 1762.
Note: Augusta County, VA consisted of all of southwest Virginia at the time of the above entries.
The following excerpt is from the Pennsylvania Berichte, a Germantown newspaper, published
January 6, 1750. It is a letter from Samuel Eckerlin to Alexander Mack, Jr.
“Upon this occasion I want to report to you about the great inundations which occurred
on the 25th of August, a little past midnight, on the Roanoke and the area northeast of it.
Our river as well as the Little River were also very high but nobody here suffered
mentionable damage. On the Roanoke, however, and other nearby places there was
much damage. At several spots entire hills were swept down and leveled and several
tracts of bottom land, all inhabited, were filled with so much gravel and sand that they can
no longer be lived on. This I have seen myself. Also, houses and barns were carried away
and with them a great deal of the crop. The Roanoke was a mile wide at several places
and the water rose to 15 feet above otherwise dry land. Since you are familiar with this
area, I want to give you details about several places as follows: One mile below Tobias
Breit a man and a child were drowned; a woman managed to save herself on a tree;
livestock was practically all drowned because the water rose so suddenly and right at
midnight that none could have been driven away. The house of Henrich Braun with whom
we stayed has been torn up. Clad in nothing but their shirts they got away with their
children, the water reaching up to their arms. His three cows in the field were carried 3
miles downstream by the waters where they gained firm land alive. Peter Kinter and his
wife found a horrible end. They were not yet asleep but had been drinking together, were
in good cheer and thought of no danger till the water suddenly rose up to the house and
no more escape was possible. So they retreated to the attic. No sooner had they reached
it than the water rose up to them. They placed boards on the collar beam and sat on
them. When the water reached up to their arms and no more flight seemed possible, he
lost heart and told his people: He believed that this was another deluge and the Last
Judgment had come. He asked his wife to give him a kiss. As he grabbed her, both slid
from the board and away with the waters. Those who were with them on the boards saw
no more of them.

“Kassel’s wife and children and their old mother were in the house at the same time.
They all survived up on the collar beam save for a small child whom Peter Kinter’s wife
had on her lap. It drowned with them. After daybreak, the others found out that they had
been carried with the upper part of the house for a mile into some woods. They found a
rope and tied it to a tree so that they would not be carried any further until the waters
subsided or someone would come to their rescue. After a few days, Peter Kinter’s wife
was found dead and naked hanging on a tree with one arm. And several days later he was
also found. But he had no more head and only one arm. Maybe some wild animal had
already feasted on him.”
The “Kassel” mentioned above was probably Jacob Castle.
Included among the taxpayers of Rowan Co., NC in 1768 were: Jacob Castle (charged with 2 taxes),
James McCarty (charged with 2 taxes), and Daniel Boone (charged with 2 taxes).
In December 1785, a group of inhabitants of extreme southwest Virginia petitioned the government to form the new county of Russell. Among those signing the petition were: Jacob Castle and Joseph Castle.
From Russell Co., VA Land Entry Book 1, Page 275: May 31, 1798 – Jacob Castle enters fifty acres of land on his own line by virtue of part of one land office treasury warrant No. 14,292 dated the 16th day of Sept. 1781 Beginning at Little Hollow & running with his line crossing his spring he now drinks out of, thence running toward Copper Creek for compliment.
From Russell Co., VA Law Order Book 1, Page 177: October Court 1789 – Ordered that Richard
Thompson be summoned to attend at next court to settle with the court for his administration of the Estate of Thomas Roberts dec’d. Jacob Casel as above for the administration of the Estate of Joseph Casel dec’d.
From Russell Co., VA Law Order Book 1, Page 178: October 1789 – On motion of Jacob Casel and William Huston the said William Huston is appointed Administrator of the Estate of Joseph Casel decd in the Room of said Jacob Casel and it is ordered that he comply with the condition of the said Jacob Casel’s Administration Bond and thereupon the said William Huston took the Oath of an Administrator.
Bazil Castle, who was born in Virginia circa 1760 and died in Kentucky on October 8, 1846, gave the following information in his pension statement on February 27, 1834, “Indian spying in western Virginia 1779-1780 under Colonel Preston, Capt. Lewis, Lt. Robinson at battle of Ruby Falls, Guilford Courthouse. April 1779 entered service as an Indian spy. Two spies working together took a certain range and at night they met at an appointed place. The first four months spent on Bluestone River. September 1779 marched with whole company down Clinch River to Fort Blackamore, arriving there in late September. Served at Fort Blackmore till December. In February 1780 marched from Blackamore to Fort Chiswell Hill. April 1780 discharged at Fort Chiswell Hill. Fall 1780 remained at home with his mother while his father went to Kings Mountain with Campbell and other Virginia men. His father, Jacob Castle, was at the battle of Kings Mountain.”
Joseph Castle likely was a son of Jacob Castle. He married Eunice Powers in Wythe Co., VA in 1797.
The minister’s return was by Rev. John Stanger. Their children were: Sarah Castle Salyer, Joseph Castle, Jr., Jacob Castle, Hannah Castle Salyer, Lucinda Castle Salyer, Esther Castle Salyer, and Malinda Castle Salyer.
Other children of Jacob Castle, according to traditional information, may have been Jacob Castle Jr. and Benjamin Castle.