March 17, 1956Mrs. J. A. Witcher
Dear Mrs. Witcher,
Your letter of the 5th inst., to "some Witcher in Brownwood", finally reached me here. My brother T.E. Witcher forward it to me, saying he knew nothing about the matters enquired about.
My father, T. A. Witcher, died in Brownwood, Tex. July 5, 1939. He was a descendant of William Witcher, of Pittsylvania County, Virginia. So are all the other Witchers in the United States, as far as my information goes. The tradition is that the old, original William Witcher migrated to this country when in his early teens, eluding his folks and stowing away on a sailing vessel bound from England to the American Colonies. On arrival here, he was "apprenticed" to a planter until he reached maturity, in payment of his passage over. He later settled in Pittsylvania County, Va., married and had Six Sons and two daughters, by name as follows: William, Jr., John, Daniel, James, Ephraim and Caleb. The daughters Elizabeth, married to Abraham Razor; Rachel married to Wm. Morrison.
Your Mr. Bowman, living in Virginia, should have no trouble in getting in touch with a Professional Genealogist, in the County Seat of Pittsylvania County, which I think is Chatham., who could probably get him off on the right track, in outlining his "family tree".
My father's ancestor, among the Six Witcher Sons, was Ephraim, who broke away from Virginia homestead and settled in Surrey County, North Carolina, where my father was born, his father being William J. Witcher, son of Ephraim. Evidently W.J. moved with his family to Georgia. My father grew up in the little village of Cedartown, Ga., near Rome. My father was orphaned early in life: his mother dying when he was two years of age, and his father, when my father was only 9. However he had four brothers and three sisters. All of his brothers perished in the Civil War but one, and he died shortly after, from prison hardship the last year of the struggle. So, my father, the youngest, having had 2 years in the service, and finding such a shambles in the old home area, after two years in school at Cave Springs, set out for Texas, arriving in 1869, and later married and chose his first homestead in Lampasas County, where I was born. There was one other family of Witchers in Lampasas at that time, namely C.N. Witcher, who had a large family of boys and girls: I remember three of the boys, Viz., Mel, Charlie, & Clyde, but I know there were two more: also the girls, Allie, Minnie, and the youngest, by his second wife, who married Geo. Zively.
In a book about Indian Fights in the 1850-75 period in Comanche, Brown, Bosque, Hamilton & adjacent Counties, by Deaton (one of the old timers), published at Ft. Worth, in 1827, there is a chapter entitled the Fight at Lookout Mountain. This spot, I recall is up the Lampasas River, about 30 miles from Lampasas. The names of ten men are given who were engaged in that fight with Comanche Indians. Among these names appears those of "Adam and John Witcher". The date of the battle was 1860-61. One man, by the name of Carter, was killed. It was a running fight, and next day when the other participants returned seeking Carter's body, they found it horribly mangled. Of course, this was before my father came to Texas: and I never had opportunity to talk to my father about the "Adam and John Witcher" mentioned. The names are family names, however, and certainly sprang from one of the original Six Sons. The fact is, there are getting to be so many Witchers in the world, it would be difficult indeed to make up family trees for them. Especially is this true of the modern generations, who well nigh universally will tell you they came from, and have implication they do not particularly care. However, my father was proud of his lineage, and often spoke of going back to Pittsylvania County, if I would go with him, which I promised to do, but dallied about until it was too late. His first cousin, John Witcher, of Canon City and Cripple Creek, Colo., was likewise hungry for family traces. He visited my father, and I met him when I was quite young. He left the old homestead, Cave Springs, Ga., before the Civil War, before he was of age, and drifted to Colorado State, before it became a State. His narratives, related to the family on his Texas visits, when I was 8 years old, were equally as hair raising, as any indian tale ever written by Fennimore Cooper. His descendants still live in Colorado.
I enclose a copy of an old letter found among my father's collection, from V.A, Witcher, from some town in Virginia in 1906, but I can't decipher the name of the village completely.
Likewise, I enclose an extra copy of this letter, which you may like to send to the man in Virginia. They may give him some clues that will aid him.
W. C. Witcher