My Smallridge line to England

This story follows my mother’s family line back to England.


My mother was Ina Elsie Johnson and she married Leonard Edward Thornton in the fall of 1941 in Putnam County, West Virginia. Ina Thornton was the daughter of Hugh C. Johnson and Alta Smallridge.


Alta May Smallridge married Hugh Chandos Johnson on August 26, 1922 by M.F. Mitchell at the minister’s residence in Putnam County, West Virginia.

Hugh holding Ina, Alta standing behind Lee
(picture probably taken 1927)

Hugh and Alta first lived up a hollow near the mouth of Turkey Creek and later moved to Guyandotte, West Virginia in search of employment. Around the year 1930 Cephus Smallridge urged Hugh and Alta to come back to Lick Creek. Hugh and Alta moved back to the Cephus Smallridge home and Hugh farmed and did various laboring jobs. Hugh managed to get a job with AC&F Industries in Huntington, West Virginia. Hugh made the commute to Huntington from Lick Creek from the mid 1930’s until around 1950 when he moved to Eastern Heights in Huntington, West Virginia.
Children of Hugh Johnson and Alta Smallridge are:
(1) Lee Villard, born March 8, 1923; died June 23, 1976; married Lilly McCallister.
(2) Ina Elsie, born January 15, 1925; died November 22, 2011; married Leonard Edward Thornton
(3) William Wellington, born August 30, 1930; died May 12, 2012: married Thelma Faye McCallister(sister of Lilly)

Alta May Smallridge was the daughter of Cephus Smallridge and Betty Carpenter. Cephus Wellington Smallridge was born March 1873 and died March 19, 1944. He married Mary Elizabeth Manning and she was born October 1871 and died October 22, 1897. His second marriage was to Elizabeth “Betty” Carpenter on May 26, 1900 by Rev. W.R. Nester. Betty Carpenter died before 1910. Cephus was a widower on the 1910 Putnam County census with his four children. Cephus maintained his home and with the help of Betty Carpenter’s sisters Celia and Annie and he raised his family. Cephus lived and farmed his entire life on Lick Creek and is buried at the mouth of Lick Creek at Mt. Moriah Cemetery.

The children of Cephus Smallridge and Mary Manning are:
(1) Lonnie William, born October 1894; died September 29, 1990; married Lula Wood.
(2) Lena, born June 7, 1897; died February 25, 1970, married Rev. Walter Wood.
The children of Cephus Smallridge and Betty Carpenter are:
(1) Alta May, born August 16, 1901; died April 4, 1959, married Hugh Chandos Johnson.
(2) Catha Mildred, born March 29, 1903; died April 26, 1999; married James Orvie Bird.

Cephus Smallridge was the son of Sampson Samuel Smallridge and Mary Jane Arbaugh. Sampson Samuel Smallridge was the fifth child of nine children of John and Mary Smallridge. Sampson Samuel Smallridge was born January 1837. Sampson Samuel Smallridge was 16 years old when his father died in 1853 on the Culloden, West Virginia farm. He is listed on the 1860 Putnam County, West Virginia Census as a laborer for Thomas McCallister. The McCallister farm was located near the Cabell County and Putnam County line.
Sampson S. Smallridge enlisted in the 16th Virginia Cavalry on September 4, 1862 at Hurricane Bridge, Putnam County, West Virginia. Sampson was listed as a private in Company D under the command of Captain Joseph W. Morris. The company was encamped at Camp Zirkle near Salem, Virginia from December 1862 until the spring of 1863 for training and winter quarters. Sampson was probably involved in the battle at Hurricane Bridge in March 1863. Sampson was listed as captured in Cabell County on June 25, 1863. Sampson is listed as a prisoner of war at Atheneum Prison (Wheeling) on July 9, 1863 and at age 24, ruddy complexion, dark eyes, sandy hair and occupation as farmer. Sampson was next listed as a prisoner of war at Camp Chase, Ohio on July 11, 1863 and was transferred to Fort Delaware on July 14, 1863. Sampson was paroled at Fort Delaware on July 30, 1863. Sampson is next listed in General Hospital in Farmville, Virginia on November 1, 1863 and returned to duty on November 16, 1863. Sampson was absent on detached service on March 31, 1864 and absent on horse detail on October 30, 1864 and bounty bond due. He is shown as deserted on December 31, 1864.

Sampson Samuel Smallridge was in a cavalry unit and probably traveled in the Lick Creek area of Putnam County, West Virginia. He married Mary Jane Arbaugh on November 29, 1868 by Rev. Rollin Bias in Putnam County, West Virginia. Sampson and Mary lived in the western portion of Curry District at the time of the 1870 census of Putnam County. Sampson and Mary had moved to the Lick Creek section of Curry District and are on the 1880 Putnam County census.
The children of Sampson Smallridge and Mary Arbaugh are:
(1) Annie B., born 1871, died 1897 (Mt Moriah Cemetery), married James E. Johnson
(2) Cephus W., born March 1873, died March 19, 1944
(3) Woodville, born February 15, 1875, died February 17, 1955, Amy Persinger
(4) John H., born January 4, 1877, died September 20, 1965
(5) Roma Ellen, born June 1879; married William J. Manning September 22, 1900.
(6) George Theodore, born October 2, 1881, died June 4, 1958, married Minnie Persinger.
(7) Belle D., born July 1884 (lived at Ona, WV), married John C. Bailey.
(8) Emma May, born May 28, 1888, died April 25, 1946, married Charles Sowards.

Sampson Samuel Smallridge’s father John Smallridge was born circa 1791 in Virginia, and died May 7, 1853 in Teays Valley, Cabell County, West Virginia due to inflamation of the bowel . He married Mary Bell January 25, 1820 in Cabell County, West Virginia. Mary Bell was born circa 1801 in Bourbon County, Kentucky, daughter of John Bell and Elizabeth “Betsey” Berry. The 1820 Cabell County census shows John Smalllridge as single and occupation as a tanner.
The children of John Smallridge and Mary Bell are:
(1) Commodore Perry, born circa 1821
(2) John W. , born circa 1827
(3) Elizabeth, born December 6, 1831; died November 17, 1909 and married Thomas Morrison; they
are buried at Morrison Cemetery, Barboursville, West Virginia.
(4) Sylvester W. , born circa 1834
(5) Sampson Samuel, born January 1837
(6) William S., born circa 1838
(7) Mary Ann, born circa 1840; married J.J McClery December 24, 1863.
(8) James Hamilton, born 1842, died 1917
(9) Matilda A., born circa 1844

John Smallridge was the son of an immigrant named Samuel Smallridge. An excerpt from: “A History of Highland County Virginia” by Oren F. Morton, B.L. page 386 states that Samuel Smallridge died in 1807 and lists John as his last of seven children. Samuel Smallridge married Ann Jerrell March 10, 1790 in Rockingham County, Virginia.
Children of Samuel Smallridge and Ann Jerrell:                                                                                    1. William (Lewis County)
2. Nancy married Joseph Probst
3. Mary married James Blagg 1815, son James born 1794
4. Sarah married James Wilson 1823
5. James married Sarah Hodge 1829 (Lewis County)
6. Samuel
7. John (Cabell County)
Samuel Smallridge was born in 1760 in the village of Exminister in the County of Devon, England to Samuel and Elizabeth (Baker) Smallridge. In the year 1773, Samuel was convicted in the court in County Devon of breaking into a home at 1 am and stealing a purse from Joromiah Conneaught. He was sentenced by the court to be hung, but the judge allowed him to be transferred to the “colonies” for 14 years of labor, after which he would be free. It is believed that he landed at a port in Virginia, perhaps either on the Rappahannock or Potomac Rivers. He was taken by land to what is now Pendleton County, Virginia where he was sold to a John Gum. He was just 13 years of age and first appears in the Augusta County court records in 1773. Samuel Smallridge served in the militia of Rockingham County, Virginia in 1778.

This ends the journey from my maternal grandmother to the village of Eminister, England following the Smallridge surname.


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