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William Anderson

William Anderson

Male 1764 - 1839  (75 years)

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  • Name William Anderson  [1
    Born 2 Jun 1764  Delaware Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Gender Male 
    Died 13 Sep 1839  Walnut Hill, Botetourt, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 4, 5
    Buried Fincastle Presbyterian Church Cemetery Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 4
    Notes 
    • William Anderson came with his parents to Botetourt in 1770 from Delaware, where he had been born to Robert and Margaret Neeley Anderson. He grew up on his father's Catawba Creek property. In 1780 William, at sixteen, fought in Col. William Preston's regiment against the British at King's Mountain and in the battles of Cowpens and Guilford Court House. He later marched with a corps of volunteers from Fincastle to Rockfish Gap to prevent Tarleton from crossing the Blue Ridge and capturing Virginia's governor and legislature then at Staunton. William Anderson was appointed Surveyor of Botetourt County on March 15, 1793, and held that post until his death. He also served Botetourt as Magistrate, Commissioner of James River, Engineer of Public Improvements, Sheriff in 1828, and representative in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1831-1832. In 1812, when war again broke out with England, Anderson was commissioned a colonel, raised his own company, and joined other forces in the defense of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Later he was commissioned Inspector General of the Armed Forces stationed at Norfolk. In 1796 William Anderson married Anne Thomas, daughter of Francis Thomas and his wife Grace Metcalfe Thomas, of Frederick County, Maryland. The Andersons established their home, Walnut Hill, one mile southwest of Fincastle and were joined in Botetourt by Anne's parents and sisters. The Thomases, who were Episcopalians, became members of Fincastle Presbyterian Church and lie buried in the churchyard. William Anderson's children who survived him were: Catherine Thomas Anderson who married Robert Glasgow, Colonel John Thomas Anderson (buried in churchyard), Dr. William Neeley Anderson, Virginia Supreme Court Judge Francis Thomas Anderson and Brigadier General Joseph Reid Anderson. William Anderson served the Fincastle Presbyterian Church as elder or presiding elder for nearly forty years. At his funeral in 1839, his minister extolled the virtues that had made Colonel Anderson "the most beloved citizen of this community."

      William Anderson served at a young age in the Revolutionary War battles of Kings Mountain, Cowpens, and Guilford Courthouse. He was appointed to the prestigious position of surveyor of Botetourt County in 1792, which he held until 1839, and served terms as magistrate and delegate to the Virginia General Assembly, In 1796 he married Anne Thomas of Maryland, with whom he had ten children. He acquired title to 1,284 acres in Botetourt County by the time of his appointment, as the office of surveyor allowed him to take up land of good quality, thereby increasing his wealth. Col. Anderson enrolled his sons Francis T., Joseph R., John T., and William N. Anderson among his deputy surveyors. However by 1800, tax records indicate that he had disposed of all but two small tracts in the county, each of less than one hundred acres, that he held for the rest of his life. His house, which still stands about a mile southwest of the county seat of Fincastle, was a modest log dwelling valued at $125 in 1820, the first year for which the values of buildings are listed in the land tax books. The 1810 census records show him living with his wife, and five individuals, probably children, less than twenty-six years of age. They had one slave in the household.

      William Anderson, soldier, county official and Christian gentleman, was born in Delaware, June 2, 1764. His father, Robert Anderson, II, came to America from County Donegal in Ulster Province, Ireland, in 1755. He married Margaret Neeley, and they moved to Botetourt County when William was six years of age.
      When only sixteen years of age, he fought in Col. William Campbell's regiment at Kings Mountain. He also participated in the Battle of the Cowpens, and that of Guilford Court House, North Carolina. Soon after returning home from his campaign with General Greene at Cowpens and Guilford Court House, he, with a corps of volunteers, marched to Rockfish Gap, and with others prepared to resist the approach of Tarleton into the Valley of Virginia. After considering the conditions, Tarleton retreated rather than to risk defeat of an effort to push into Staunton, then the emergency capital of Virginia. When war broke out with England in 1812, he raised his own company, having previously been commissioned a colonel, and joined other forces on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Later, he was commissioned Inspector General of the Armed Forces stationed at Norfolk, Virginia.
      On March 15, 1793, he was appointed surveyor of Botetourt County; and many volumes now repose in the clerk's office at Fincastle, attesting to his neatness and accuracy. He also served his county as Magistrate, Commissioner of James River, Engineer of Public Improvements, etc., and was a member of the House of Delegates for the term of 1831-32.
      William Anderson was a member of that bold and hardy race who were actuated by the doctrines of Calvin. He grew up in the faith of his fathers, and with a love of liberty and of his country and his church. He served as an Elder in the Fincastle Presbyterian Church probably longer than any other.
      Foote says of him that his office as surveyor afforded the opportunity for him to take up land of good quality, without impropriety, and thereby speedily increasing his future worth.
      However, he passed through life in moderate circumstances, scrupulously honest, sensitive of his reputation and cherishing the pure principles of the Gospel. He practiced a charity that sought not her own… "believing that wealth was not the best inheritance for children." (Foote's Sketches, Second Series, p. 585).          
      William Anderson married Anne Thomas in 1796 and established their home at Walnut Hill where they reared a large and distinguished family. He died September 13, 1839, probably the best loved citizen of his community, and was buried in the old cemetery surrounding the Fincastle Presbyterian Church, which he had loved and served so long, and where lie his parents, his wife and many of his children.
      The father of Catharine Graham, mother of the immigrant Robert and grandmother of the subject of this sketch, had been beheaded in England with Montrose, after which Catharine and her widowed mother had fled to Ireland; and it was in commemoration of these circumstances that the name of Montrose was given to the lovely old home in northeast Fincastle, built by Francis T. Anderson, a son of William Anderson. Montrose was destroyed by fire a quarter century past.
      After the death of William Anderson, Walnut Hill passed, through a series of conveyances, into the hands of S. W. Quick of Staunton, Virginia, who operated a stage coach line; and it was used as a place for the change of horses drawing the coaches, and more than probably as an Inn. It still stands a mile southwest of Fincastle on the Blacksburg Road.

      Sometimes referred to as Col. Anderson

      William Anderson, my grandfather, joined the Continental Army commanded by General Nathaniel Greene as a volunteer at 16 year of age, fought in the battle of Ceropa?? And Milford Court Haven and other combats; was one of the picked men detailed for the rear guard of Greenes army, under Colonel Otto Williams.
      Ser Foobs Soldiers of Virginia page 584
      William Anderson was also one of the Corps of Volunteers who marched to Rock Fish Gap VA to intercept Tarleton ---- to be marching on Staunton Virginia
      William Anderson commanded a regiment on duty at Norfolk in the War of 1812. He served in the Legislature of Virginia, was appointed by the Legislature Commissioner for the new Constitution of Covington, Ohio or Covington and Kanawa Turnpike. He served as Justice of the Peace and was for nearly fifty years surveyor of Botetourt County.

      In 1769, Robert Anderson and his wife, Margaret, with their young son, William (born June 2, 1764), moved from Delaware to Virginia and settled on Catawba Creek in what was still Augusta County, but which became Botetourt the next year.
      Before many years, though, the dark clouds of the coming Revolution engulfed his new chosen country and his son, William, a growing youth, became eager to fight the Redcoats. William's uncle, John McNutt, had achieved distinction in the service of the colony, and had been called to Williamsburg to give the governor his views of the situation on the western waters.
      Gen. Nathaniel Greene's troops were fighting in North and South Carolina. The men of the western settlements became more and more disturbed, and patriotic in their support of the infant republic. 
A young McNutt cousin, with other youths from near his home plantation near Balcony Falls, came by and stayed with his Anderson relatives on the Catawba. William, the eldest child of Robert and Margaret Neely Anderson, then not sixteen, was the mainstay ofhis parents, and they opposed his going off with his cousins to join the Revolutionary Armies.
      William became 16, though, on June 2nd, and after much persuading was given his parents' blessing. He was allowed to go alone, on foot, through the wilderness to North Carolina, carrying bags of parched corn, his rifle and shot for game. In due time he reached his destination and served with Greene at the battles of Cowpens and Guilford Court House. He was one of the picked men who, under Col. Otto Williams, formed the rear guard of Gen. Greene's perilous trip back into Virginia.
      His service being expired, Wiliam returned home. But almost at once he went out with a company to Rockfish Gap, where Tarleton was deterred by the mountain boys from entering their Valley.
      William Anderson, after the Revolution and after reaching his majority, established his home near Fincastle, which in 1770 had become the county seat of Botetourt.
      His home place was called Walnut Hill. The largest part of the house, now gone, was a large stone, two story building, with an immense fireplace and chimney and, properly, portholes for firing at Indians or marauders. When I first saw Walnut Hill in the 1920's it appeared to me that this stone house was built long before the birth of William Anderson (although no record states this) and possibly by other hands.
      In front of it was a most individual dwelling, originally of logs, but covered with weatherboarding—a four-roomed house downstairs, with an unusual stairway which divided into two, part-way up to the two upstairs wings, without any landing. A beautiful hand-carved mantel was in the largest room and under it a very old iron Franklin Stove. To my regret at that time, I could not ask to buy this stove-- indeed, it seemed discourteous to the owners to do so.
      Under the stairway was a hidden closet, where as county surveyor, we always heard, William kept locked the funds of the community.
      To their quaint old pioneer home, William Anderson brought his bride. She was the daughter of Francis Thomas of Montvue near Frederick, Maryland, in the section known as the "Merryland Tract". Her name was Anne Thomas, her mother's name was Grace Metcalfe. This Thomas family was of Welsh origin.
      Anne's parents, who spent their last years in Fincastle, are buried in the Presbyterian cemetery there.
      William had met Anne on one of his trips to Philadelphia, the big center of business for the valley Scots. His letter to her father, asking for permission to marry Anne, hangs now in our house in Lexington. They were married on May 15, 1796, in Maryland. On their marriage journey to Botetourt they stayed at an inn, now the Forest Tavern near Natural Bridge.
      Anne was of the Church of England persuasion. After their marriage, William became a vestryman in the newly-formed congregation of the American Episcopal church. But he continued as a deacon and soon as an elder in the Presbyterian church, which in Fincastle supplanted the Church of England, after the Virginia Act of Religious Freedom in 1785 recognized the Scotch Presbyterian Religion.
      William Anderson died Sept. 13, 1839, at Montrose, the Fincastle home of his son, Francis. The funeral sermon was a touching monument to his career and character as churchman, soldier, and in Virginia's legislative bodies. He was colonel of a Virginia regiment in the War of 1812. Given a military funeral, he was buried in the old Presbyterian Cemetery in Fincastle. The Rev. Stephen F. Coxe's eulogy was later printed by Watchman of the South, Richmond, in 1840.
      F. B. Kegley wrote in his "Virginia Frontier" that William Anderson was "the best-loved citizen of the community." He also said
      that his four sons were deputies to their father as county surveyor.
      In 1969, William Anderson was honored by the trustees of Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke when they named a new science building at the college for him

      [Married Anne Thomas 12 May 1796, Frederick Co., MD.
      Anne Thomas, b. 29 Dec 1770, Frederick Co., MD, d. 23 Jul 1848, Botetourt Co., VA
      Catherine Thomas Anderson, b. 1 Jun 1797, d. 11 Jun 1876
      m. Robert Glasgow, b. 1792, Rockbridge Co., VA, d. 26 Jun 1862
      Children: Margaretta, Joseph, William, Rebecca, Francis, John, Catherine, Robert , Mary Jane
      Margaretta Anderson, b. 12 May 1799, d. 19 Mar 1819, Botetourt Co., VA
      m. James Gordon, b. 22 Jul 1787, d. 13 Jun 1825
      Grace Thomas Anderson, b. 1 Dec 1800, d. 26 Feb 1836, m. unknown
      Robert Anderson, b. 11 Jul 1802, d. 20 Mar 1803
      John Thomas Anderson, b. 5 Apr 1804, VA, d. 27 Aug 1879, Botetourt Co., VA
      m. Cassandre Morrison Shanks, 26 May 1834, Botetourt Co., b. 2 Jan 1807, VA, d. 1 Jan 1887, Staunton, VA
      Children: Joseph, Mary
      William Neely Anderson, b. 23 Nov 1807, Botetourt Co., d. 3 Oct 1868, Greenbrier, VA
      m. Lucy E. Harrison, 4 May 1835, Botetourt Co., b. 1810 VA, d. 1840 Botetourt Co.
      Child Wm. Rush Anderson
      Judge Francis Thomas Anderson, b. 11 Dec 1808, Botetourt Co., d. 30 Nov 1887, Rockbridge Co.
      m. Mary Ann Alexander, 8 Dec 1830, Rockbridge Co., b. Dec 1806, Botetourt Co., d. 27 Nov 1881, Rockbridge Co.
      Children: Anna, Mary, Frances, Josephine, Katherine, William, Theodore, Isabelle, Francis
      Mary Crabb Anderson, b. 17 Mar 1811, d. 4 Dec 1836
      m. 7 Jun 1834, George Washington Jones
      General Joseph Reid Anderson, b. 16 Feb 1813, Botetourt Co., d. 7 Sep 1892, Isle Shoals, NH
      m. 3 May 1837, Phoebus, VA, Sara Eliza Archer, b. 6 Sep 1819, Norfolk, d. 13 Aug 1881, Greenbrier Co., WV
      Children:Archer, Nannie, William, Kathleen, Fannie, Ellen, Joseph, Sallie, Mary, Lily, Robert
      Elijah Anderson, b. 3 Dec 1814, d. 13 May 1815] [1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]
    Person ID I18081  Mindrum
    Last Modified 4 Nov 2015 

    Father Robert Anderson,   b. Abt 1739, Donegal, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Jul 1825, Botetourt Co., Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 86 years) 
    Mother Margaret Neely,   b. 1738,   d. 26 Jul 1810  (Age 72 years) 
    Married 1764  Delaware Find all individuals with events at this location  [11
    Family ID F12625  Group Sheet

    Family Anne Thomas,   b. 29 Dec 1779,   d. 23 Jul 1848  (Age 68 years) 
    Married 15 May 1796  Frederick Co., Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 12, 13
    Children 
     1. Catherine Thomas Anderson,   b. 1 Jun 1797, Botetourt Co., Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Jun 1876, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)
     2. Margaretta Anderson,   b. 12 May 1799,   d. 19 Mar 1819  (Age 19 years)
     3. Grace Thomas Anderson,   b. 1 Dec 1800,   d. 26 Feb 1836  (Age 35 years)
     4. Robert Anderson,   b. 1802,   d. 1803  (Age 1 years)
     5. Col. John Thomas Anderson,   b. 5 Apr 1804, Botetourt Co., Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Aug 1879  (Age 75 years)
     6. Dr. William Neely Anderson,   b. 3 Oct 1806, Botetourt Co., Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Oct 1868  (Age 62 years)
     7. Francis Thomas Anderson,   b. 11 Dec 1808, Botetourt Co., Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Nov 1887, Lexington, Rockbridge, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
     8. Mary Crabb Anderson,   b. 17 Mar 1811,   d. 4 Dec 1836  (Age 25 years)
     9. Genl. Joseph Reid Anderson,   b. 16 Feb 1813, Botetourt Co., Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Sep 1892, Isle of Shoals, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)
     10. Elijah Anderson,   b. 3 Dec 1814,   d. 13 May 1815  (Age 0 years)
    Last Modified 14 Mar 2017 
    Family ID F12640  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Anderson, William
    Anderson, William

    Documents
    Anderson, Robert - Estate settlement, page 1
    Anderson, Robert - Estate settlement, page 1
    Anderson, Robert - Estate settlement, page 2
    Anderson, Robert - Estate settlement, page 2
    Anderson, James - Estate Receipts
    Anderson, James - Estate Receipts
    Receipts of estate of James Anderson from brother William Anderson for settlement of their father Robert Anderson's estate

    Headstones
    Anderson, William
    Anderson, William

  • Sources 
    1. [S8249] Robert D. Stoner, (The Roanoke Historical Society, 1963).

    2. [S4372] Ancestor Search, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

    3. [S7877] William Anderson Sons of the American Revolution Membership Application, 27 Feb 1918, 2 Jun 1763.

    4. [S6231] www.findagrave.com.

    5. [S7877] William Anderson Sons of the American Revolution Membership Application, 27 Feb 1918.

    6. [S8256] ANDERSONS, Early Members of Fincastle Presbyterian Church who lie buried in the Churchyard (from a plaque in the lobby of Fincastle Presbyterian Church, 2016).

    7. [S8243] National Register of Historic Places-United States Department of the Interior-National Park Service--Anderson House-VDHR Site No. 011-0056 and Botetourt Co. Tax No. 71-94--5640 Lee Lane-Haymakertown, Botetourt Co., Virginia-.

    8. [S4367] Letter from James Ward, 15 Jun 2015.

    9. [S8259] The Four Anderson Brothers, Ellen Graham Anderson.

    10. [S2335]

    11. [S8257] Robert Anderson, Dwain Skelton.

    12. [S8056] Maryland Marriages.

    13. [S8249] Robert D. Stoner, (The Roanoke Historical Society, 1963), 1796.