Appalachian Thursday–Descendants of the French Creek Pioneers

The first of my ancestors to settle on the family farm in what is now WV.

I’m the seventh generation to grow up on our family farm back in West Virginia. There was David Phillips, Horace Phillips, David Phillips, Jane Phillips Loudin, Rex Loudin, Larry Loudin, and then me. My nieces and nephews aren’t currently living on the farm, but they visit often and know it well. Generation number eight.

During my last visit with Dad (who lives on the farm still) I discovered two copies of The Pioneer–a booklet put out by the Descendants of the French Creek Pioneers. The group met every other year and Virginia Bly Hoover, who seemed to be the perpetual secretary for the group, would write up an account along with details about various descendants.

I have the 1960 and 1976 booklets.

Dad always claimed that on the day I was born, Virginia registered me with the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). I will confess to sometimes thinking this was hyperbole or legend. But, according to one of my now prized booklets I am, indeed, a descendant of a Patriot.

The first David Phillips and his brother Elijah were Patriots while their father, Philip (yes, Philip Phillips) was a Loyalist. They left home over a dispute regarding the Revolutionary War and eventually made their way to West Virginia (then Virginia). It was David’s father-in-law, my great-great-great-great-great grandfather Uriah Goodwin who actually fought in the war.

This is why I write about my home–about West Virginia and the farm that sprouted me. My roots there are deep and this sense of belonging to a place and a lineage, well, it’s a treasure I love to share.

Published by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Author, wife, child of God.

43 thoughts on “Appalachian Thursday–Descendants of the French Creek Pioneers

  1. How wonderful to be able to walk the land of your ancestors. Apparently I, too, am DAR eligible, though working with the Mayflower Society on one of my books I tried every which way to trace back to Mayflower roots. No way. We were always the ones who held back, apparently, to see how things shook out before we jumped onboard.

    Love hearing your Appalachian stories. French Creek, VA, huh?

    1. I think we were more like the unrecorded stowaways! Yes, French Creek, VA. ALMOST makes me willing to forgive folks when they mistake what state I’m from ; )

  2. Hi Sarah just wanted to say that we are 3rd cousins. My grandma was Avis Mona Loudin (Armstrong), Her dad was Oscar Wellington Loudin, his dad was John Wesley Loudin, his dad was George Alexander Loudin, and his dad was William Loudin. Your Jane Philips marred Perry Sylvester Loudin who is a son to John Wesley Loudin. That’s how we are connected. I have some group pictures you may want. I will be buying your book soon! God bless you!

    1. Oh wow! So we had the same great, great grandfather? I’m so glad you got in touch! I’d love to see those photos. You can e-mail me at salt96 @ charter dot net. Thanks for reaching out!

      1. Oh I will send you some pictures. On Facebook Ellen Loudin her husband John remembers Rex Loudin. They are second cousins they grew up around your family.

  3. I am Steven Phillips, direct descendant of David. I have a cabin near French Creek. My grt grt grandmother donated the land for the normal school at Indian Camp. I have been wondering where David and others settled when arriving from Mass. Maybe I can look up your father some day. Thanks for your work.

  4. My husband was a direct descendant of
    John Cutright who lives in the Pringles tree with the two Pringles brothers.
    There was John, John, Jr, their daughter (Jemima) who married a second cousin who was also a grandchild of the first John. Jemima and Cornelius had a son, Fred, father of
    Arley Cutright and his son, Arley E. Cutright , Jr was my husband and the father of the 7th generation of descendants of first John.
    All of this is verified through Fred Cutright in a book we bought from two sisters at French Creek a long way back.
    The title of the book is History of Upshur County by W B Cutright .

      1. Sarah, there is some info about the Phillips in the book. I forget whether there is info about Loudins. I visited the David Phillips cemetery last weekend, and visited with your dad and Terrie for some Phillips-Loudin lore. My neighbor at Alton has a copy of the book, and you can get some glimpses of it on Google Books.

  5. Sarah I remember Uncle Rex very well and your Dad is right, he would have spoiled you!! I loved seeing him when we would visit, he was sooo nice. How are your brothers? Really glad Amy and I found you. Mom wants me to order your book for her. Maybe we will run into each other some day and you can autograph it for her.

    1. Angie! I’m glad you guys found me, too! I haven’t seen your bunch since Aunt Bess’ funeral. I hadn’t thought about you being old enough to remember Grandpa, but of course you do. One of these days I want you to tell me everything you remember. Give my love to your parents.

      1. I most certainly will give them your love!! I have quite a few fond memories of WV visits. I even remember David taking me for a ride in a jeep around your farm. He was crazy, thought I was going to die, but it was fun!!

  6. Hello Sarah, I’m not sure that you will remember me, but I’m Noel W. Tenney and I taught at BUJr. HS/BUHS for a short time with your dad. I’m pleased to see of your interest and writings of your heritage. I wanted you to know of our work at the Upshur County Historical Society. We have all of the Pioneers (some past issues are actually still available at $10. a copy) and Amy Tenney has prepared a very thorough index. We also were given all of Virginia Bly Hoover’s research files and photographs. Check out our vast publications online at and if you have time when you’re in Upshur County the next time, stop by our Document Repository and Research Center at 29 W. Main Street in Buckhannon (right across from the courthouse). I thought you would also be interested to know that the UCHS now owns andmaintains the Historic French Creek Presbyterian Church building and we are actively working on its preservation and use. Take care and let me know if this helpful.
    Sincerely, Noel W. Tenney, UCHS

    1. I absolutely remember you! We have your Trailing Arbutus print (signed) hanging in our house. I’m SO pleased that Virginia’s materials are being cared for! I’d often wondered where that goldmine ended up. And I’m delighted to hear the church is not only being preserved, but USED. I’m hoping to make it to a Pioneer reunion soon. Thank you so much for getting in touch and letting me know about all these wonderful resources. I’m betting there are more stories than I could ever write just waiting to be discovered!

  7. Hi, I am a descendant of Phillips, Cutrights, and Perrys. I attended the Reunion of the French Creek Pioneer Descendants quite a few years ago. I’ve been looking online recently to try to find information for future reunions. Do you have any information or contact info?

    1. The reunions are typically every other year, which means we would be due one in 2018. Amy Tenney was the secretary in 2016–her e-mail at that time was There’s also a Pioneers Facebook page where information is posted now and again. Hope we get to meet one of these days–I suppose we’re cousins of a sort!

  8. Just discovered this. My line is to David and Anna (also to Elijah) – don’t have my papers in front of me so don’t know exactly the number of greats they are until I check.
    we are definitely connected. I got DAR through Nathan Gould. I have supplement submitted on Uirah Goodwin. This family were founders of the French Creek Presbyterian Church which closed few years ago. Would love to learn more about you.

      1. I would have loved to have know about David’s grave when I visited Buckhannon probably 10 or 12 years ago. I went to a lot of cemeteries but couldn’t find a couple of graves that were on private property. I would also like to go back to, I think, the Lanham cemetery as I discovered other relatives there that I didn’t know at the time.
        My grandparents, Lewis Phillips (father Greeley, son of David, son of William, son of the first David) and grandmother, Izora Cutright who moved to Virginia in 1910 would go to the strawberry festival every year. I never got to go with them because of school. I did drive through Buckhannon once with my grandfather but the cousins he was going to visit weren’t home. My grandmother was a first cousin of Sherm Zickefoose who married Lily Lanham, first cousin of my grandfather.

        I would love to visit again but age is creeping up on me (82) and I don’t drive that far anymore.

        Hope you will keep in touch.


  9. I have a copy of the 1925 booklet; Historical paper read at the annual meeting 14 August 1925 of the DESCENDANTS OF THE FRENCH CREEK PIONEERS.

    The cover reads: 470 Years of Service of the Young, Gould, Sexton, and Phillips Families

    I would suppose your ancestors are also listed in it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: