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The 'Rightmire Report'


Chapter I. "Father Rightmire", John, Henrietta, Robert, and James, Sr.

The Rightmire story begins with three brothers, Robert Rightmire, John Rightmire, and our James Rightmire, Sr. and their sister, Henrietta Rightmire. There is considerable uncertainty about who the father of this family was, so I just call him "Father" Rightmire. It really doesn't matter much whether their father was Benjamin Wrightmire, or John Rightmire, or James Rightmire, or some other Rightmire; the story is essentially the same. It is about the three brothers, a sister, and their families - and more particularly about one of the brothers, James Rightmire, Sr. - "our James Rightmire. Sr."

I need to insert a caution at this point. First, much of this information in this chapter comes from Vernon Vinzant in a report entitled "Descendants of Unknown Rightmire". He cautioned the readers that the data from his report "must not be distributed as confirmed relationships". He noted that "in putting together the Rightmires found in the Monongalia Co. area in the late 1700s to early 1800s, there are….relationships where support is weak and further research is needed to confirm or deny these." Vernon "made these connections primarily to establish a family tree for other researchers to examine and critique. Much of the association is based on their location in northern West Virginia." As Vernon notes, support for this story is also weak, but worth considering for others to examine and critique.

"Father" Rightmire was probably born in the 1740s. He may have been Benjamin Wrightmire and fought in the Revolutionary War. In an email, dated July 17, 2000, Alice Beyke stated: "My suspicion is that our James father's name was Benjamin and is the Benjamin Wrightmire who was in the Revolutionary War…..I also suspect that John and Robert are brothers of James and that the James is ours. Robert ended up in Washington County and John in Barbour County." Alice's suspicions are usually right.

However, Vernon notes in his report that "based on the recurrence within the family descendants of James and John as names, it is not unreasonable to presume that the father of John, Robert, and James Rightmire was named John or James." Vernon found an early reference to a Rightmire in Virginia: The 1787 Census of Virginia, compiled by Netti Schreiner-Yantis and Florence Speakman Love, gave the following:

Loudon Co. Virginia; Personal Property Tax 1787 List "C".
Date of receiving lists from individuals: 1787, March 10.


Last Name
First Name
Charged with Tax

Vernon notes, however, that "Loudon County is as much as 200 miles east of Monongalia County, Virginia (now West Virginia) where we have first identified Rightmire ancestors. Thus, there is no evidence that this James is related to the Rightmires we find in the area of Monongalia Co. by the late 1700s."

Vernon goes on to point out that "in the records in the Monongalia Co. area, there are references to John, James and a tavern owned by John Rightmire. Presently, it is not clear that the tavern owner, John Rightmire, is John, the son, born about 1769 - it may be a reference to his father. It is not unusual for the first born son to be named after his father. John (born about 1769) appears to be the first born and is older than James and Robert. Thus their father may also have been named John."

Barbour County, Preston County and Monongalia County are contiguous counties that were originally in Virginia, but in that part of Virginia that later became West Virginia. Indeed, according to information Alice found on the web, Preston was part of Monongalia County until about 1818. We know that our James Rightmire, Sr. came from Monongalia County. As is shown later in Chapter IV, James Rightmire, Sr., and Elizabeth Daugherty married in Monongalia County.

Support that all three brothers were in that area of Virginia (now West Virginia) comes from Alexander Brandon. He published a list of what he called "Some Prestonians of 1803", which was just a list of people from Preston County, West Virginia. His district covered all of Monongalia County and was more extensive than the east side of Preston County. The list was generally households, but in some cases a figure with hyphen followed the name. This indicated the number of tithables in the household, where there were more than one. The list included the following three Rightmires, copied directly from a web site reproduction from the book:

"Rightmire James; Rightmire John; Rightmire Robert."

There were no numbers following their name, indicating no one else in the household. We are reasonably sure that James Rightmire is "our James Rightmire, Sr." and that John and Robert were members of the same family. I believe they were all brothers. Henrietta Rightmire was probably born in about the same time frame as the three brothers and in the same part of Virginia (now West Virginia). We are reasonably certain that Henrietta is their sister. These four children of "Father" Rightmire will be covered in Chapters II through V:

Chapter II: (1) John Rightmire was born in either 1769 or late 1768. He married a woman named Ann (last name unknown). John, Ann and family are covered in Section 1 of this chapter. We have extensive information on one particular son, James Rightmire and his wife, Harriett Lake. They and their family are covered in Section 2.

Chapter III: (1) Henrietta Rightmire was born some time between 1770 and 1780. She married Solomon Jarvis. Henrietta and Solomon and their family are covered is Section 1. One of their children, Granville Rightmire, his wife, Anna Maria Reeves, and their child, Anna M. Jarvis are well known, primarily because Anna was the major force behind the creation of Mother's Day. Their family is covered in Section 2. Another child, Angeline E. Jarvis is covered in Section 3.

Chapter IV: (1) James Rightmire, Sr. was born in Virginia in about 1779. Most of us reading this story are direct descendents of this James Rightmire. James, Sr. married Elizabeth Daugherty. The children of James, Sr. and Elizabeth Rightmire are listed in Chapter IV, but each child is covered in a separate chapter.

Chapter V: (1) Robert Rightmire (Ritemire) was probably born around 1787. He married Sussanna (last name unknown) and settled in Washington County, Ohio before 1810. Section 1 covers their immediate family. Section 2 covers one son, Benjamin Rightmire, born between 1807 and 1808. Section 3 covers another son, Samuel Rightmire, born in 1810.