Family migration patterns: Sheffey migration to West Virginia

In the previous post, I outlined the migration of some of branches of the Sheffey family to Pennsylvania.  In this post, I’ll cover those who made the move to West Virginia.

Samuel Sheffey (1839-?), from an unknown county in Virginia, moved his family to Greenbrier County, WV by the time of the 1880 census. While one could be forgiven for believing he is the same Samuel as the one who follows below, they are different individuals. At present, this Samuel Sheffey would appear to be the first to have left Virginia for West Virginia.

Picking up the theme from my previous post, another 1910-1920 family Diaspora involved Virginian Sheffeys moving to West Virginia.

Mitchell Sheffey (1856-?) and wife Leona Moby had 1 child move from Wythe Couty, Virginia to West Virginia: Giles L Sheffey (1888-1927) moved his family to Kanawha, Fayette County, WV around 1910 (Census).

Adam Sheffey (1846-?) and wife Julia Davis of Wythe County, VA had 2 children who moved to West Virginia:

  • Wade Hampton Sheffey (1879-1965) was resident in Wood County, WV at the time of his marriage in 1904.
  • Norton Sheffey (1889-1976) was resident in McDowell County, WV in the 1920 Census and then Kanawha County, WV by 1930 (Census). At the time of his death, he was resident in Wayne County, Michigan (another Sheffey family post-Diaspora hub).

Annie Sheffey (1898-?), daughter of Ellis Mitchell W V Sheffey (1871-?) and wife Rosa Walker of Wythe County, Virginia, was resident in McDowell County, WV by the time of 1920 Census.

Alice Elizabeth Sheffey (1894-?), daughter of Giles P Sheffey (1831-?) and wife Sarah C Stephens of Wythe County, Virginia, settled in Harrison County, WV by the time of her marriage to Frank Lestinor Hicks in 1913.

These were all Wythe County VA cousins, direct descendants of Jacob Sheffey and Elsey George’s children.

Interestingly, William Robert Sheffey (from the white side of the family in Wythe County, VA) also moved his family to McDowell County, WV between 1910 and 1920. Coincidence? Or did he offer new opportunities and work for his black kin when he moved? Grandson of the famous progressive wilderness preacher Robert Sayers Sheffey, perhaps his perceptions of race differed from the traditionally held, negative perceptions of the day.

Whether it was through the connection with Samuel Sheffey, who moved to West Virginia a generation before them, or through a connection with Robert White Sheffey, the African-American Wythe County Sheffeys forged their way in Pennsylvania as a family group.

2 thoughts on “Family migration patterns: Sheffey migration to West Virginia

  1. The photo that I found of Robert Sheffey appeared to be that of a black man…do you have any answers?

    1. Hi TeResa

      Which Robert Sheffey is this? I have to admit that some people have been more challenging to trace than others due to having more common family names. Robert Sheffey, Mary Sheffey, James Sheffey, Alice Sheffey, Elizabeth/Bessie/Lizzy Sheffey, William Sheffey – these are some of the names that have proven a challenge. There are so many in the family bearing the same name, born in the same county around the same time.

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