Valley of the Shadow


An aunt writes to her nephew of his family history, including references to the McNutt, McCorcle, Trimble and Porter families.

Alexander McCorkle

Holly Hill

My Dear Nephew,

After a long interval, I have concluded to attempt a reply to your kind, & welcome letter. It always gives me sincere pleasure, to hear of the welfare & prosperity of my dear friends, & their families; Since your letter came to hand. I have seen, & become slightly acquainted with your son cousin Gamble; We were all much pleased with him & would like much to see more of him. He does not look like you, yet there is something about him which reminds me of you. In the tones of his voice - there is often a striking resemblance. Yet I think it is his manner rather than his appearance or voice, which I seem to recognize.

So far as I know your friends and relatives in Rockbridge are all well & doing well though many of them suffered much & were sorely tried whilst the war lasted.

My family (I mean your cousin Joseph Hub.'s children) are all married (except Agnes) so that my present family is very small, consisting of Agnes, her Father, & Myself. Just now Frances McNutt is here on a visit, the first she has paid us for fourteen years. Her husband is Dr. John McNutt, a son of your Uncle William McNutt. They live in Monroe Cty Missouri. Alexander has long lived in New Orleans, William was killed during the war at Spottsylvania C H. His wife, a daughter of cousin Mildred Johnston's, is living near us; she has four children. Joseph is living in Lexington; Ashlie married Mr. Adolph Echart, & lives in Baltimore. Josephine Married Mr. Granville Campbell, & lives in this county. Phebe the youngest child married Mr. John F Baker, a Presbyterian minister. She is with us at present. You ask me to tell you of your ancetors the McNutts especially. I never had a taste for tracing up relationships - but since you desire it I will without preclude or apology, tell you what I know of them.

Mr. John McNutt, & his wife Catharine Anderson removed from Ireland & settled in this county where they brought up a large family - two daughters & seven sons. One of the daughters married an Englishman named Rhodes, & the other Rebecca married Mr. John McCorcle by whom she had three children Alexander, Samuel & Catharine. Mr. McNutt's sons were Alexander, John, Issac Robert Benjamin & William & Joseph. Robert was killed at the battle of Cowpens & his brotherinlaw, W. McCorcle died on his way home - from a wound received in the same battle. After Mr.McCorcle's death his widow married Mr. Arther Glasgow by whom she had a large family of children.

My Father Mr. John Grigsby married a Miss Etchison by whom he had five children, James, John, Charles, Sarah and William. Sarah Grigsby (my half sister & your Grandmother) married Mr. Thomas Welch of Orange County. They had two sons and five daughters. One of the daughters married Alexander McCorcle, a son of John McCorcle & Rebecca McNutt. After the death of my Father's wife he married a Miss Porter by whom he had three sons, Joseph, Elisha & Reuben, & five daughters, Jane (Paxton) Rachel (McNutt) Martha (Trimble) Elizabeth (McNutt) & Frances (Beccum). Two of my sisters you perceive married McNutts, Sister Rachel married Alexander McNutt, & Elizabeth married William McNutt, your Grand mother's Brother. Cousin Gamble was anxious to know in what way he was related to the Porter's. He is not related by blood - but is connected by marriage. My mother was a Porter and two of her daughers married McNutts. Now cousin Alexander I have told you what I could of your ancestors, but cannot begin to trace out their decendants. They have obeyed the command given to our ancestors of old multiply & replenish the earth. Their name is legion - Yet so far as I know they are all Moral and Respectable people - many of them pious. Cousin Alexander I think of you often & pray for your prosperity, & that you may be the means of leading many souls to Christ. I seem to stand almost alone all my family & all who knew me when I was young have passed away, & I feel that nothing which this world can give will make us happy even in this life. I pray that I, and all my dear friends may be enabled to choose as Joshua of old that they may serve the Lord. I should like to see you once more & if you find it in your power to pay another visit to your native land while I am spared do call & see me. I know you have many friends more nearly related by blood - but I think there are none who more earnestly desire your welfare. Your parents were dear friend whose memory I shall ever cherish. Give my warmest love to your wife & children. I remember your wife as she was when I saw her - but I suppose Time has not spared her the bloom & freshness of youth. It always suprises me cousin Alexander to find persons I regard as young - looking old. A few more years and the places which knew us now will know us no more. I have written you a long letter - When you have time & inclina tion I would like you to write to me again. But whither you find time to write or not I would request an interest in your prayers. My family all unite with me in love toyou & yours Farewell may you ever be happy is the earnest wish of your affectionately attached Aunt

Martha Trimble

Cousin Alexander, Aunt desires me to say that Mrs. John McNutt - the mother or you Grand Mother McCorcle, had a brother who emigrated from Ireland & settled in Botetourt County. He was the Father of Colonel Anderson of that cty who was an elder in the presbyterian church. Your Uncle Robert Glasgow married a daughter of his. Mrs. Jenkins wife of Rev. Wm Jenkins, pastor of Falling Spring church, is his Grand daughter. Remember us all affectionately to your wife & family and accept of much love for yourself from us all, your sincere friend [unclear: Amos]