Letitia Virginia Pendelton Nelms Affidavit, 1929

This affidavit is from Letitia Virginia Pendleton Nelms or Helms (1849-19??), who was the daughter of James Vance Pendleton (1816-1870), who was the father of Ann Elizabeth Pendleton (1843-1928), who was the mother of  Albert Gaines Gibson (1871-1922),  who was the father of  Idabel Amanda Gibson Williams (1892-1983), who was the mother of Jeanette Anne Williams Bright ( 1921-1968), who was Curt Bright’s grandmother.

Washington D.C.

August 8, 1929

To whom it may concern;

This is a true statement of the facts and findings made by me in an extensive and exhaustive research made on behalf of Mr. Wirt W. Pendleton of 1611 Eutaw lace, Baltimore, Maryland of the Pendleton Family.  And I do believe that this is a true record of this family.

Katherine Cox Gottschalk

            Sworn to before a notary public this 9th day of August, A.D. 1929.

Ida E. MacWorter


Affidavit of Letitia Virginia Pendleton Nelms of 1111 East Main Street, Princeton, West Virginia:


Personally appeared before me this day Mrs. Letitia V. Pendleton Nelms who on oath says, I am a daughter of James Vance Pendleton who was born Feb. 28, 1812, died April 23, 1870, son of Rev. Joseph Pendleton of Washington Co. Virginia.  My father talked to me at different times of his relatives and ancestors, but particularly in the year 1869.

I remember perfectly well at one time he held up his left hand and touching each finger of the left hand with the forefinger of the right hand he named his ancestry as follows: Joseph, Micajah, Philip, Henry and Philip.  When he came to the name Micajah it left an impression on my memory, because I had never heard the name before and it was different from the names of any Pendletons I knew.

At another time I remember my father said one of his ancestors – a well educated polished gentleman of the old days – proposed to the lady of his choice 17 times before she consented to marry him.  She was both accomplished and beautiful.

He told me all this before I had seen and Pendleton genealogy.  At another time he seemed much disturbed about a Court House having burned in Eastern Virginia (he mentioned the name of the town but I have forgotten that).  He said all the data on the Pendleton genealogy of that section was burned, all of his.  He said he would write to some of the older members of the family for whatever data their old Family Bibles might contain.  This he did not do as he died soon after.


Letitia V. Pendleton Nelms

Subscribed and sworn to before me

This 25th day of January, 1929.

C. B. Martin

(Seal)   N.P. for Mercer County, W. Va.


I hereby certify that the above is a true and correct copy of an affidavit in the handwriting of and sworn to by Mrs. Letitia V. Pendleton Nelms.


Dated February 11, 1929.


Notary Public for District of Columbia


It is my sincere belief that the record of Mrs. Nelms’ paper is a true record of her ancestry.

Mrs. Nelms was born 1842. She was personally acquainted with the various members of her family and of the older generations of her family and heard them speak of their earlier connections. In our history of this family we made every effort to support these earlier traditions with documentary fact, and it has been one of the satisfactory features of this work that in every case Mrs. Nelms’ memory has been clear and accurate.


U.S. Bureau of the Census, Pulaski Co. Virginia, page 449.

45/45   James Vance Pendleton                          aged 34         born Virginia

Ann M.                       “                                  27                    “

Ann E.                         “                                  6                      “

Albert G.                     “                                  4                      “

Letitia                          “                                  1                      “


This census is for the year of 1850, and shows Mrs. Nelms as a little girl of one year old in her father’s family.


The census for the years of 1810, 1820, 1830 of Washington County, Virginia, gave us The Rev. Joseph Pendleton family and by computations made from them, the ages of his wives and of his children and of himself was approximated, and these tallied with the ages that we had from other sources in every instance.

Probably the most interesting item is the Tax List report from Richmond, Virginia State Library for the Upper District of Washington County, Virginia, which I shall copy here for you.

1795 Micajah Pendleton April 30 Co. Levy I, 2 horses or cows 1801, 1802, 1803 – straight on we find Joseph Pendleton paying his taxes according to his possessions.  But this is the only time that Micajah pays a tax in Washington Co.  In 1800 Micajah Pendelton took up his residence in that part of Amherst County that was afterwards cut off for Nelson County, and he begins paying taxes in Amherst in 1800.  He bought out the other heirs of his father’s estate to the Amherst property as shown by the deeds in these counties in 1796, and in 1798.  The two sons of Micajah Pendleton, Edmund and Joseph, died before their father died; they are both named in the records kept by their great uncle, the famous Judge Pendleton.

The only other Micajah Pendleton was born 1796.  There were no other Josephs that we could find that were his age or to be confused with this man.  Hence the Micajah of the tax list and the Joseph of Washington County records together with other evidence too lengthy to give in this, give us all the record that it seems possible to find at this time.  All records in Buckingham County burned in 1869.

The lineage of Mrs. Nelms is:

  1. Philip Pendleton, born 1650, married Isabella Hert
  2. Henry Pendleton, born 1683, married Mary Taylor
  3. Philip Pendleton, born ____, married Martha ___ and had 15 children, the youngest of whom was
  4. Micajah Pendleton, born 1758, married Mary C. Horsely,
  5. Joseph Pendleton
  6. James Vance Pendleton, born 1812 (or 1816 according to the census), married Ann Maria Murphy
  7. Letitia Virginia Pendleton Nelms


I believe this covers the information that you desired for this paper.  I am most sincerely yours,

Katherine Cox Gottschalk



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