Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Telling the Story

West Virginia

We had a very successful trip. First of all, what a beautiful state. We flew into Pittsburgh, PA, rented a car, and drove to Charleston, the capitol of WV.
We drove to Wheeling, the first capitol of WV and then down state highway 2 which snakes along the Ohio River towards Pt. Pleasant, WV. Pt. Pleasant is where the Great Kanawha River (as opposed to the Little Kanawha River) empties into the Ohio River. We didn’t get as far as Pt. Pleasant on the way down, turning instead to the interstate highway at Parkersburg. We were anxious to get to Charleston before the State Archives closed. We made it.

The next two days were mostly spent at the archives checking land records, court records, miscellaneous lists, all dating the period between 1774 and 1810. We strongly suspect our great-great-great-grandparents, Ruth Ellison and William Droddy lived in Kanawha County during this time. We know that he was appointed as one of the first coroners of that county, and his brother-in-law, Capt. John Morris, was sheriff. John Morris was married to William’s sister, Margaret Droddy.

William and Margaret, along with their brothers Thomas and Ezekiel, were apparently abandoned by their parents, Elizabeth and Daniel Droddy about 1759 or 1760. The exact details of this are lost in time. What we do know is that Daniel was adjudicated a garnishee in 1758 or 59, and that he and Elizabeth left Virginia, taking with them their youngest son, Daniel II. Thomas, William and Ezekil were bound out. Thomas, who was about 14 at the time, and William, aged 4, maybe 5, were bound out to Robert Douglas. Ezekiel who was just a baby, was bound out to someone else. We haven’t found the court orders regarding Margaret yet, but we suspect someone was appointed her guardian. Those early Virginians were sticklers for legal details. In the order book which noted Daniel and Ezekiel’s disposition, the boys are referred to as orphans.

We don’t know the details of their upbringing. There is a notation in a civil suit many years later that suggests Robert Douglas moved to another county. We’re still looking for clues there.

Margaret, Ezekiel and William appear again in the late 1770s. Margaret married John Morris, a son of William Morris. The only detail to that is a comment by an earlier researcher who said that the Droddy lands bordered the Morris lands. William and Ezekiel are both listed as members of Capt. John Morris’s militia company, with a notation that they were living at the Morris stockade and raising a crop near there on their own land.

The Morrises all fought at the Battle of Pt. Pleasant in 1774. There is no record of any Droddys serving in that battle, so they may not have yet moved to the Kanawha valley. Margaret and John were married in 1778. By 1781, William and Ezekiel are being shown as part of John Morris’s militia company. By 1787, William has met and married Ruth Ellison, a daughter of James Ellison of Greenbriar County. James Ellison was a fairly successful farmer. We can find no further record of Ezekiel, leaving us to speculate that he may have been killed in one of the many skirmishes with Indians during this period. There were several periods of intense fighting between the Americans and the Shawnees not ending until the death of Tecumseh in 1814.

We heard that William operated a ferry across the Ohio at Pt. Pleasant, but we found nothing to confirm or support this theory. By 1820, William and a wife had made it to St. Charles, Missouri where he died in 1824. I say “a wife” because we do not know if this is our g-g-g-grandmother, Ruth Ellison, or not. There is another record of a William Droddy marrying in Illinois. We cannot determine whether this William Droddy is our g-g-g-grandfather or his son named William. We do know that son William spent time in Illinois because two of his children were born in Illinois.

William’s father, Daniel, is presumed to have died prior to 1798. That year William gave a power of attorney to Allyn Prier (Alan Pryor) with instructions for Pryor to do whatever was necessary to claim land belonging to Daniel near Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia. In the power of attorney, William refers to himself as a legal heir of Daniel.

We have no knowledge of William’s feelings towards his father and mother who abandoned him and his siblings in Virginia. I would note that the name Daniel is not found in any of William’s children’s descendants, while it appears frequently among the family that Daniel took to South Carolina.

Another note of distinction between the family left behind and the family taken. William spelled his name D-R-O-D-D-Y. In South Carolina, the name is spelled D-R-A-W-D-Y.

My grandfather, Joseph William Droddy, told my cousin Charles that his people came from Ireland on a banana boat. Every family legend generally has a kernel of truth.

My Droddys continued the family’s western migration, ending up in Texas in the early 1830s. By 1836, William was dead, but his sons, John, William and Adney, along with several of their sons, were in Texas. I believe they floated down the Mississippi as far as Louisiana. Maybe on a flat-bottomed boat. They all grew up on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. At least one of the brothers operated a ferry across the Sabine River between Texas and Louisiana.


At 10:16 PM, Blogger calicomist said...

My maternal grandmother's name was Droddy. Her father was Ota Franklin Droddy, and Ota's father was Christopher Columbus Droddy. The father of Christopher Columbus "Lum" Droddy was Charles Droddy. I was so glad to see your homepage. You mother has red hair like the women in my grandmother's family. LOL I guess you know the Droddy's (anyway, ours?) are Irish? I would like to find out who Charles Droddy's father was. I have spent 20+ years researching genealogy, so I hope I don't talk your leg off. I also have an MA in English, so I get hung up on lingusitics. I read somewhere that Droddy is phonetically the same as O'Grady in Gaelic. The state of WV spelled 'Drawdy Creek' and 'Drawdy Mountain' on road signs-but that is the doing of people outside the family. I used to laugh when I was a kid that they spelled our names like a 'crawldad' that lives in a creek. It's that Gaelic "ah" lilt that translates in "awl" for people who aren't familiar with the Gaelic language, I guess.
Contact me and we'll share notes~Maybe we're connected somehow. I'm sorry about your mother's nose. Charles Droddy bought a bunch of land around 1825 - I don't know where he got his money, but I wish I knew. Do you know? I found out tonight that he was a teacher. Teachers don't make that kind of money! LOL Thanks-great site - hope to hear from you!

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Houston said...

Charles' father, William, died in St. Charles, Missouri in 1824, but that was not the source of any money Charles may have had for purchasing land. I have William's estate papers which I will be happy to send a copy to you. Odds are that while Charles may have "bought" property in 1825, very little money changed hands, just like today.

At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My gandfather is Clarence Ray Droddy. He's from WV. I'm not sure but I think that Christopher Cloumbus Droddy is like my forth or fifth great-grandfather.
I've been told that the Droddy's have a family graveyard in WV. To this day, I can't remember where though.
I thought that that might be some useful information though. I just wish I could remember where.

At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is Jerry Droddy. My Grandfather was Fredrick H. Droddy. His Father was Daniel Droddy. His father was Columbus (Lum) Droddy. We just visited the Family graveyard last weekend. It is located in Walton WVA. I took some pictures. If you are interested you can e-mail me at

At 4:08 PM, Anonymous sarah droddy said...

my name is sarah droddy, my father is john o droddy, and my grandparents were john o droddy sr. and esther ellen droddy. the part of my droddy family that i know are all from the port aurthor/beaumont part of texas. sadly that is all i know about my fathers side of the family, and i am hoping that someone can help me.

At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Sarah,

Email me and I'll help you tie into the whole Droddy clan. I'm pretty sure you're fairly closely related to my bunch.

Most of the Droddys in Louisiana and Texas descend from the children of William Droddy and Ruth Ellison.

I look forward to hearing from you.


At 10:59 AM, Anonymous DeWayne Morris said...

Hello, I was doing family research on the Morris family and found ths blog. I am a direct descendent of Captain John Morris and Margaret Droddy. If you would like to correspond please e-mail me at This family history is very interesting to me and would like to find out more information.

D. Morris

At 8:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

do any of you know a Merle Droddy. He would have been a soldier during WW 2.


At 10:09 AM, Blogger Houston said...

I do not know of any Merle Droddy who may have served in WWII. Sorry. If he spelled it with a "double d" then he's probably related to us. Might be one of those West Virginia Droddys who are descended from Charles Droddy, the son of William Droddy and Ruth Ellison.

At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

im a andrew droddy, from an andrew droddy, from a william droddy, from Louisianna somewhere.... i am extremely interested in the choctaw and african american influences in our family...i have a picture of my great grandfather who they called pipaw and hes def irish...and he was standing with/married to "mimaw" and she was super skin is pretty dark red...and i want to know where/who/how it came from....anyone know?

At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Steve Droddy said...

Hey all. I don't know if any of this is still active, but my name is Steven Thomas Droddy. I come from a branch of the WV Droddy's that moved to Delaware with my Grandfather, Richard Edward Droddy. I know he is from the Charleston area and think some of these names sound familar from a project I did back in high school, but I'm not certain. I'd love to find out more about my relatives and could talk to my grandparents to help fill in gaps. My email is if anyone is interested.

At 9:56 PM, Anonymous acdcamps said...

Hi Mr. Bridges,
It's been a while, since we have contacted one another, but I'm your distant Droddy cousin , that lived in Maryland, but now living in Alexandria, Louisiana. How have you been? So glad your still active with our family tree and so generous in the information that you pass down to others. I see that you have traveled and collected even more. You should write a book. Keep in touch.
Donna Thompson Yu Campanile

At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have a VERY distant connection with the Droddy family through various marriages (which I couldn't even start to unpick at the moment!) back to my maternal grandmothers family from the Forest of Dean in England.

I love the fact that you are researching your history in such detail, good luck to you in your continued research.

At 11:43 PM, Anonymous donna said...

Hi Houston,
It's me, your long lost cousin, donna from maryland, remember? I moved to louisiana and want to know when the family reunion will be taking place this summer 09? How's the family tree info coming along? Book yet? Hope to hear from you soon.

At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, My name is Marie and I am of the Texas-Louisiana Droddys. My grandfather was Joe Droddy. His line is Samuel, Adna Samuel, and William Droddy. I would appreciate any and all info on the Droddys. I would love to get any stories on the Droddys to pass on through my grandchildren to keep the Droddy family alive in the minds and memories of our future Droddys. I would also appreciate any pictures, old and new to keep an album of all Droddy family members. Thank you and God bess you all, Marie

At 4:53 PM, Blogger denisekemp said...

Hi, My name is Denise Kemp-Otterson, Iam related to the Drawdy's of Fl, Va, and S.carolina. If anyone can help me connect the dots to I believe Daniel, i would appreciate it. I can tell you my mother's mother was Minnie Marie Drawdy, her father was Dellmar (dell) Colsby Drawdy,His father was Corneilus,(neil) Drawdy. Iam hoping iam making the right connection when i connect Neil to Daniel, but which Daniel? their are sooo Many!!. I notice our family like to reuse names a lot!! LOL. If anyone can help me make sure i'm connecting the right dots i would appreciate it.Oh, my grandmother's father and her siblings resided in Coral Gables Fl in the early 1900's. What's left of her siblings' children are there and Here in West Palm Beach and Pt. St. Lucie,Fl.

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Houston said...

Hi Denise,

I'm not able to be of much help to you in connecting your Drawdy line to Daniel, but there are plenty of Drawdys out there who can be of help to you. First, try GenForum ( and try connecting with someone there.

My line of Droddys are descended from Daniel's children left behind in Virginia when Daniel and Elizabeth absconded off to South Carolina with their youngest child, Daniel. We don't know much about why, but we do note that he was adjudicated a debtor and his children were bound out to others. There may have been some hard feelings on the part of the children left behind, however, since none of the remaining children named any children for Daniel or his wife, Elizabeth, nor did any of the next generation name any children Daniel or Elizabeth.

I'd have sent more information to you, but I have no idea where to send it.

Good luck in your genealogical adventure.

At 11:56 PM, Blogger akarmywife said...

Hi I am trying to reach the blogger who goes by Houston. I would love to know more about William and Ruth's descendants in Texas/Louisiana. Thanks

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Houston said...

AKARMYWIFE, you can email me directly as Calcasieu-at-sbcglobal(dot)net. I'm happy to share with you the information and research I have.

I spent my Army years in Alaska, back in the early 70s. I have a lot of friends and memories from that time.

Get in touch.


At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ota and Missouri Droddy introduced my grandparents to each other. Would love to tell you about it if you are still interested.

At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iam the great grandaughter of Dellmar Drawdy of Coral Gables (miami) fl. His daughter,Minnie "Marie" Drawdy Stockman is my grandma.I would really appreciate info and pics to share of the family. My cousin Brandy and I have no real stories or info on the family.Please feel to call me (561)818-3558

At 6:59 PM, Blogger puffy said...

hey my name is bobbie doss. My grandfather is leo dyson his father is lee dyson and his mother is emma droddy if there is ne way ne one could please help me with this i would greatly thank you my email is 662-316-2506 is my number any information would be helpful

At 7:04 PM, Blogger puffy said...

my name is bobbie doss. my grandfather is leo dyson his father is lee dyson his mother is emma droddy. we cant find nething about her or him any help or information is greatly needed my email is my number is 662-316-2506

At 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My grandmas, sister, Mary Ann Herrin married Adney Dave Droddy, they had several children (my mothers cousins), after Mary passed away, He married my grandpas sister Minnie.He died in 1962, Minnie died in 1993.

At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My father, Lester Droddy, was born in TX in 1917. His father was Joe Droddy and they moved to LA when the children were young. My father's siblings were: Sam, John Henry, Bill, Joe Luther, Irma, Bessie, and Betty Droddy. The area they moved to only had 1 other relative, Hadley Droddy, and they were 1st cousins.
Jewel Beisser

At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that you and I are related.. I am a descendent of Adney David Droddy and Caroline Beckworth Droddy. They are my Great Grandparents. My Grandmother who is no longer living was Mattie Droddy Gibson. She was the wife of Asa Earl Gibson. I would love to learn all I can about our ancestors.. My email address is I really hope to hear from you!

At 1:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anybody know if the Margaret Droddy who married Captain John Morris (and was a daughter of Daniel Droddy of Ireland) had a sister? I find four brothers for her. I am trying to speculate on a maiden name for the Elizabeth who was the wife of Thomas Alsbury who served with John Morris in the 1790s... if anybody has any thoughts on this, or knows if Margaret had a sister (or not) please email me at

At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know a Elizabeth Augusta Drawdy she married Oliver Maxey they lived in Barnwell South Carolina? Email me @

Thank you

At 3:42 PM, Blogger akasupermom said...

Anyone still following this blog? I was wondering if any one found any information on Margaret Droddy. Or why Daniel and Elizabeth abandoned the children? I have not been able to find their parents names either. Thanks, Carla

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Ray Bridges said...

Gracious! Turn your back for five or six years and the conversation goes wild! Thanks to all of you for signing in and saying hello. I haven't paid a lot of attention to this blog in a long time. Facebook sorta made much of blogging irrelevant. Speaking of which, I am on Facebook as Raymond Houston Bridges. Drop in and say hi.

If you have specific questions you think I may have the answer to, please contact me at rlbtzero (at) sbcglobal (dot) net. I'm happy to share with you what little I know.

Cheers to all of you!


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