Harts Creek Area Deed Index (1884-1910)


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The following deed index is based on Deed Book 52 at the Lincoln County Clerk’s Office in Hamlin, WV, and relates to residents of the Harts Creek community. Most notations reflect Harts Creek citizens engaged in local land transactions; some reflect Harts Creek citizens engaged in land transactions outside of the community. These notes are meant to serve as a reference to Deed Book 52. Researchers who desire the most accurate version of this material are urged to consult the actual record book.

Aaron and Nancy Jane Adkins to B.W. Walker     100 acres on Allen Adkins Branch of Guyandotte River     12 June 1885     Cain Adkins, JP     p. 58-59 [NOTE: References logs, Mack H. Adkins]

Aaron Adkins, Jr. to B.W. Walker     Ridge Between East Fork and Guyandotte River (Upper 1/3 of 200 acre survey)     12 October 1889     Elias Vance, JP     p. 60 [references Samuel B. Price timber]

E.E. Adkins to Allen Brumfield, Jr.     185 5/8 acres     17 August 1897     p. 411-412

Enos Adkins et ux to Allen Brumfield, Jr.     2 Tracts     22 August 1895     p. 424-425

Enos Adkins et ux to Allen Brumfield     28 December 1894     Elias Vance, JP     p. 413-414

Isaac Adkins et al to Allen Brumfield, Jr.     22 June 1892     p. 420-421

Sarah Adkins to B.W. Walker     100 acres Allen Adkins Branch     14 August 1889     p. 61-62

Spencer Adkins to John P. Lucas     221 1/2 acres Guyandotte River (Laurel Hill District)     14 March 1896     p. 273-274

Spencer Adkins et ux to Martha Jane Lucas     63 5/8 acres     Big Branch (Laurel Hill District)     29 January 1908     p. 275-276

J.M. Brammer et ux to David Farley     44 1/2 acres     Laurel Fork of Little Harts Creek     11 April 1910     A.E. Wagner, JP     p. 300-301

Allen Brumfield to Hollena Brumfield     25 January 1904     p. 428-429

Allen Brumfield to Hollena Brumfield     70 acres     9 July 1904     p. 430-431

Louary Brumfield et al to A.C. Barrett et ux     Lot No. 6 Hamlin     23 July 1903     p. 308-310

C.E. Burns to Nancy Webb     52 1/2 acres Frances Creek     10 August 1908     p. 10

James L. Chafin to L.C. Browning et ux     Big Branch     19 January 1903     p. 314-315

John Conley et ux to Rosa N. Vannatter     66 acres Big Ugly Creek     19 October 1908     p. 117-118

B.C. Dial to Brad Toney     100 acres on East Side of Guyandotte River     23 October 1891     J.R. Wilson, NP     p. 242

John Dingess to Hollena Brumfield     7 August 1891     p. 418-419

J.P. Douglas, trustee, to Hollena Ferguson     p. 426-428

J.P. Douglas, trustee, to John D. Shelton     10 acres Sand Creek, Big Branch     6 June 1908     p. 38-39

Leo F. Drake et al to Lewis Thompson     100 acres Harts Creek     30 March 1905     p. 264-265

John F. Duty to Jefferson Duty     12 1/2 acres     28 July 1898     p. 114-115

William R. Duty to Emma Duty     80 acres     4 December 1897     p. 115-116

William R. Duty to Jefferson Duty     50 acres     4 December 1897     p. 113-114

Marvel Elkins to William A. Sias     100 acres Sulpher Spring Fork of Fourteen Mile Creek     7 February 1888     p. 27-28

Maggie Farley to Louis R. Sweetland     1/4 acre and 1 Lot Hamlin     15 August 1907     p. 365-367

Jonah Ferguson to Dollie Ferrell     30 acres Big Ugly     19 October 1907     P.M. Toney, NP     p. 289-290

James P. Ferrell to Bradford Toney     7 June 1887     Philip Hager, NP     p. 240-241

Smith and Nettie Ferrell to Elizabeth Duty     16 acres     21 November 1899     p. 116-117

Floyd Fry et ux to Bradford Toney     150 acre interest just above mouth of Green Shoal     28 June 1898     J.H. McComas, NP     p. 243 [references B.C. Toney farm]

A.B. Harrison and J.H. Fry to A.B. Staley     86 acres Fourteen Mile Creek (Laurel Hill District)     8 April 1892     p. 81

Sarah Headley to E.C. Lucas et ux     one acre Fourteen Mile Creek (Laurel Hill District)     2 March 1907     p. 313-314

L.D. Hill to Moses Lucas     100 acres Mile Branch     24 April 1903     p. 316-317

Alex Hollandsworth et ux to Lee Fry     House and Lot, Hamlin     26 March 1908     p. 367-368

James A. Holley et ux to Allen Brumfield, Jr.     Guyandotte River     6 June 1898     p. 415-418

Nancy A. Holley et ux to Maggie Farley     1/4 acre Hamlin     7 June 1907     p. 364-365

J.W. Johnson to Spencer Adkins and John P. Lucas     right of way     11 July 1908     p. 277-278

B.B. Lucas to Lottie Lucas     75 acres     Green Shoal branch     11 December 1906     M.C. Farley, NP     p. 220-221

Charley and Louisa Lucas et vir to Morgan Phipps     7 acres Laurel Fork (Jefferson District)     13 September 1910     p. 371

John P. Lucas to A.B. Staley     65 acres West Side Guyandotte River     26 December 1899     Jefferson Lucas, JP     p. 82-83

John P. Lucas to A.B. Staley     46 acres Fourteen Mile Creek (Laurel Hill District)     12 March 1907     Jefferson Lucas, JP     p. 78-79

William Mans to Mary Alice Mans et al     quit claim     12 May 1905     p. 11-12

A.F. Morris, special commissioner, to B.B. Lucas     75 acres on Green Shoal     7 December 1906     p. 218-219

W.C. Mullen et ux to A.P. Sanders     278 acres Lick Branch     17 October 1907     p. 369-370

Lewis and Malinda Nelson to A.E. Wagner     15 acres on West Side of Guyan River     4 December 1906     D.F. Smith, JP

Wesley Nelson to A.E. Wagner     23 acres     21 March 1906     p. 57-58

Floyd Rakes to Georgie E. Staley     50 acres on Fourteen Mile Creek (Laurel Hill District)      28 July 1892     p. 79-80

John W. Runyans to Canaan Adkins     66 2/3 acres (interest in 200 acres) West Fork and Guyandotte River     6 February 1889     p. 248

F.D. Stallings et ux to Abijah Workman     100 acre interest on Francis Creek     15 March 1899     p.7-8

Russell S. Stollings et ux to William D. Farley     35 acres Little Harts Creek and Francis Fork of Twelve Pole     24 March 1900     Isaac Fry, JP     p. 298-299

Ralph and Anna Steel to William R. Duty     73 3/4 acres     14 August 1903     p. 112-113

B.C. Toney to Bradford Toney     20 acres and 80 acres Big Ugly     20 February 1884     -. 239-240

Moses B. Toney et al to Allen Brumfield     10 June 1892     p. 422-423

Wirt Toney et al to Bradford Toney     140 acres Guyandotte River     1 April 1887     p. 244-245

O.J. Wilkinson, Commissioner of School Lands, to J.H. Meek, trustee     25 acres Ranger School     West Side Guyandotte River     20 December 1909     p. 207

F.B. Wilson to John D. Shelton     105 acres Sand Creek     Jerry Lambert, NP     1 October 1908     p. 36-37

J.R. Wilson to J.A. Holley     Timber on Bobbies Branch     15 November 1899     p. 155

Abijah Workman to Nancy Workman     30 acres Francis Creek     17 January 1900     Rufus Pack, NP     p. 9

David Workman to Brad Toney     140 acres     20 October 1891     p. 237-238

NOTE: I copied all of these deeds.

Frank Desoer (2016)


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I recently met Montreal radio journalist Frank Desoer, who traveled to Logan, WV, to explore political trends in my part of Appalachia. Mr. Desoer and I enjoyed a two-hour conversation about Logan County’s political history and culture. My hope is that he found his story. 13 October 2016.

Harts Creek Area Deed Index (1886-1909)


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The following deed index is based on Deed Book 51 at the Lincoln County Clerk’s Office in Hamlin, WV, and relates to residents of the Harts Creek community. Most notations reflect Harts Creek citizens engaged in local land transactions; some reflect Harts Creek citizens engaged in land transactions outside of the community. These notes are meant to serve as a reference to Deed Book 51. Researchers who desire the most accurate version of this material are urged to consult the actual record book.

John Q. Adams to Arena Ferrill     70 acres Mouth of Fowler Branch     2 May 1896     p. 163-164

J.K. Adkins et ux to Arrena Ferrell     119 acres East Side of Guyan River at mouth of Swift Shoal Hollow     28 June 1897     Allen Brumfield, NP     p. 162-163

Charley B. Brumfield and wife to Louis R. Sweetland     100 acres Fulton Branch     19 August 1903     p. 387-388

Charley B. Brumfield et ux to Louis R. Sweetland     62 acres Mud River     14 December 1906     p. 394-395

Sabin W. Colton, Jr. and George L. Estabrook (trustees for the Lincoln County Coal Land Association) to B.C. Spurlock and E.W. Fry     Nine Mile Creek     14 June 1904     p. 234

Sabin W. Colton et al (trustees for the Prentice Coal Land Association) to Blackburn Lucas     30 acres Spears Fork of Green Shoal Creek     1 July 1893     p. 181-182

S.M. Croft, trustee, to O.J. Spurlock     50 acres Big Ugly Creek     9 October 1908     p. 499-500

John Farley to Harvey Farley     35 acres Short Bend Branch, Fourteen Mile Creek     12 September 1902     p. 246-247

I.G. Gartin to William Mans     96 acres and 230 acres Rolin and Little Harts Creek     3 January 1899     Jefferson Lucas, JP     p. 436-437

J.B. Hainer to Louis R. Sweetland     133 3/4 acres (mineral) Limestone Branch     25 September 1899     p. 296-297

J.H. Hollandsworth to Charley B. Brumfield     100 acres Mud River     12 February 1903     p. 318-319

Charles Lucas to Sarah Ann Brumfield     75 acres Greenshoal Creek     6 July 1895     Elias Vance, JP     p. 189 [Note: Charles’ wife Lucinda was deceased]

Charles Lucas to W.B. Brumfield et al     50 acres Green Shoal     18 September 1886     Canaan Adkins, JP     p. 187-188

Charles Lucas to Blackburn Lucas     80 acres Green Shoal Creek (Spears Branch)     18 September 1886     Canaan Adkins, JP     p. 182-183

Elizabeth and B.B. Lucas and Sarah Jane Baisden to Louis R. Sweetland     15 acres and 30 acres on Limestone Branch     15 May 1909     A.F. Morris, NP     p. 293-294

William Mans et ux to William Manns     Little Harts Creek     3 January 1899     Jefferson Lucas, JP     p. 438-440

J.H. and Amanda McComas to B.B. Lucas     57/100 acres Green Shoal Creek     30 August 1899     W.B. Brumfield, JP     p. 184-185

Hiram Moore to S.S. Brumfield     122 1/2 acres Big Creek of Mud River     16 March 1900     p. 29-30

A.F. Morris, commissioner, to Louis R. Sweetland     92 acres Fourteen Mile Creek     12 June 1908     p. 405 [Note: This is the Andrew Elkins farm]

Arnold Perry to Emma Vance     41 acres Witcher’s Camp Branch     13 October 1900     Jackson Adkins, JP     p. 273-274

J.P. and U.S. Phipps to Louis R. Sweetland     109 acres Limestone Branch     25 September 1899     p. 302-303

J.W. Sarten et ux to Emma Vance     4 acres Copleys Trace of Kiah’s Creek     18 March 1905     p. 270-271

Telitha Spears et al to Blackburn Lucas     28 acres Green Shoal     26 July 1886     Canaan Adkins, JP     p. 185-186

Squire Toney et ux to George Vannatter et al     108 acres Big Ugly Creek     26 November 1899     p. 443

Gideon D. Vance to Emma Vance     Witcher’s Camp Branch     16 May 1900     Isaac Fry, JP     p. 274-275

Malinda J. Vance et al to Emma Vance     60 acres Copley Trace of Kiahs Creek     21 July 1904     W.B. Brumfield, JP     p. 271-272

Wilbur R. White et ux to Charley B. Brumfield     Mud River     20 August 1903     p. 392-393

NOTE: I copied all of these deeds.

Hometown Hamlin (2016)


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Many thanks to Hometown Hamlin for hosting us on 22 October 2016. We sold out of books! When in Hamlin, I typically visit the graves of Bob Adkins and his family. Bob was instrumental in helping me know about the Lincoln County Feud. Photo by Mom.

Johnson Hatfield v. Nancy L. Hatfield (1890)


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Johnson “Johnse” Hatfield’s relationship with Nancy McCoy represents one of the more interesting components of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud. I recently located Hatfield’s 1890 divorce record, which I transcribed as follows:


State of West Virginia

County of Logan to wit

In the Circuit Court of said County

The Bill of Complaint of Johnson Hatfield filed in the Circuit Court of Logan County against Nancy L. Hatfield.

To the Hon. Thos. H. Harvey, Judge of the Circuit Court of Logan Co.

Humbly complaining your orator Johnson Hatfield would respectfully ____ unto your Honor that on the 14th day of May 1881 he intermarried with the defendant Nancy L. Hatfield, then Nancy L. McCoy, that he was at all times to her a kind and affectionate husband, that some time in 1888 he was forced to leave his home in Logan County West Virginia, and that shortly thereafter the said defendant abandoned his home and went to the state of Kentucky where she has since that time been living in adultery with Frank Phillips, and ____ other lewd and lascivious _____.

Your orator further represents that he cohabitated with the said defendant for the last time on or about the 8th day of March 1888 in Logan County West Virginia and that they last lived together as husband and wife in said County within five years from the institution of this suit.

Your orator further represents that he be informed and so believes that some time in the month of December 1889, the said defendant was delivered of a child, which was as a ____ of more than twelve months since he had last had any sexual intercourse with her.

Your orator further represents that the adultery complained of was not committed by his consent, connivance or procurement or knowledge. He therefore prays that the bonds of matrimony existing between your orator and the said Defendant be dissolved, and that your orator be restored to his ________ rights, and as is duly bound he will ever pray

Johnson Hatfield, By Counsel


State of West Virginia

To the Sheriff of Logan County, Greeting:

We command you that you summons Nancy L. Hatfield if she be found in your bailiwick, to appear before the Judge of our Circuit Court for the County of Logan at rules to be held in the Clerk’s Office of said Court on the first Monday in February next, to answer a Bill in Chancery exhibited against her in our said Court by Johnson Hatfield

And have then and there this writ.

Witness: T.C. Whited, Clerk of our said Court at the Court House of said County, on the 1st day of February 1890, and in the 27 year of the State.

T.C. Whited, Clerk


Order of Publication.

State of West Virginia, Logan County, T0-Wit:

At Rules held in the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of said county on Monday the 3rd day of February 1890

Johnson Hatfield v. Nancy L. Hatfield, In chancery

The object of this suit is to obtain a divorce from the bonds of matrimony. This day came the plaintiff by his Attorney and on his motion it appearing from an affidavit filed with the papers of this suit that the defendant is a non-resident of this State, it is therefore ordered that she appear here within one month from the first publication of this order and do what is necessary to protect her interest herein.

Teste: T.C. Whited, Clerk

H.C. Ragland, Sol.


I, U.B. Buskirk, one of the Publishers of the Logan County Banner, a newspaper published in Logan County, West Virginia, do hereby certify that the annexed notice was duly published in said paper for 4 successive weeks, ending on the 27 day of February 1890.

Given under my hand this 28th day of February 1890

U.B. Buskirk

Printer’s fees: $6.00


State of West Virginia

Logan County to wit:

Johnson Hatfield the plaintiff whose name is signed to the forgoing bill being first duly sworn upon oath says that the facts and allegations contained in the forgoing bill are true except so far as the same are ______ stated to be upon information and that so far as the same are stated to be upon information he believes ___ to be true.

Johnson Hatfield

Taken, __________ and sworn to before me this 10th day of March 1890.

T.C. Whited, Clerk


Notice to Take Deposition

To Nancy L. Hatfield. You will take notice that on the 10 day of October, 1890, between the hours of 8 o’clock A.M. and 6 o’clock P.M., at the house of Anderson Hatfield, in Logan County, West Virginia, I will proceed to take the deposition of myself and others to be read as evidence in behalf of myself in a certain suit in chancery now pending in the Circuit Court of Logan County wherein you are Defendant and I am plaintiff and if from any cause the taking of the said deposition be not commenced on that day, or if commenced and not completed on that day, the taking of the same will be adjourned and continued from day to day or from time to time, at the same place, and between the same hours, until completed.

Respectfully, &c., Johnson Hatfield


The depositions of Johnson Hatfield and others taken before Pleasants Chafins a notary in and for the county of Logan and State of West Virginia  at the house of Anderson Hatfield on Friday October 10 in 1890, to be taken and consider as evidence in a certain chancery cause pending in the Circuit Court of said county wherein Johnson Hatfield is a plaintiff and Nancy L. Hatfield is a defendant.

Present Johnson Hatfield in person and by counsel , no appearance for the defendant.

Johnson Hatfield a witness of lawful age after being first duly sworn deposes in answer _____ as follows:

Q. What is your name, age, and where do you reside?

A.  Johnson Hatfield. I am 28 years old past. I was born and raised in this county.

Q. What relation do you have to this suit?

A. I am plaintiff.

Q. When were you and the defendant Nancy L. Hatfield married?

A. It was on the 14th day of May 1881.

Q. How did you treat her during the time that you and she lived together as man and wife?

A. .I always kept her plenty of everything she wanted and was always good and kind to her.

Q. State about when it was that you and your wife separated.

A. It was on the 18 of March 1888.

Q. Have you lived with her since that time or had sexual intercourse with her?

A. No, sir.

And the next came Alex Varney, witness of lawful age being by me duly sworn, deposed and say as follows:

Q. State your name, age, and residents.

A. Alexander Varney, Age 56 years. Residents Logan County, West Va.

Q. State wither or not you are acquainted with the partys in this suit.

A. I am.

Q. State whether or not you know anything about the defendant Nancy L. Hatfield living in adultery with Frank Phillips or anyone else since her separation from the plaintiff.

A. I saw her in Pike Co. Kentucky on the 13 day of September 1890. She was staying at the house of frank filips and she told me that she was living with him. She showed me her baby and told me that frank filips was its father.

Q. How old do you suppose that the child was.

A. She told me that the child was 9 month and 4 days old and I suppose it was about that old as it was still sucking.

[Deposition of John B. Gillespie]

Q. State whether or not you know anything about the defendant Nancy L. Hatfield living in adultery with any person.

A. I was at a house in Pike County  Ky. Frank Phillips and Nancy L. Hatfield were there. They called it their home.

Q. State whether or not it was the general impression throughout the community that they were living together as man and wife.

A. No, sir. Not as man and wife. It was that they were living together in adultery.

And further this _________ saith not.

John B. Gillespie

[Deposition of Johnson Hatfield]

_______ ________ __________ recalls and deposes as follows:

Q. State whether or not the acts of adultery committed by your late wife Nancy L. Hatfield with one Frank Phillips ______ in the two foregoing depositions were committed by or with your consent, knowledge, __________, or __________.

A. They were not.

And further this _________ saith not.

Johnson Hatfield, Jr.

State of West Virginia

Logan County, to wit:

I, Pleasants Chafins a notary in and for the county and state aforesaid do certify that the foregoing depositions were duly taken, sworn to, and subscribed in my presence at the time and place _____ in the notice here to _____.

Pleasant Chafin, a notary for Logan Co., W.Va.

Notary’s Fee

2 hrs work as notary     $1.50


Johnson Hatfield v. Nancy Hatfield, In chancery

This day this cause in which the defendant is prosecuted against as a nonresident and it appearing that the order of publication has been duly published and posted as required by law, came on to be heard upon the plaintiff’s bill and the depositions there with filed in support thereof together with the argument of counsel for plaintiff and the same being considered and inspected by the court the court is of the opinion that the plaintiff is entitled to the relief therein prayed for, whereupon it is adjudged, ______, and decreed that the said plaintiff Johnson Hatfield be and he is hereby divorced absolutely from the defendant the said Nancy L. Hatfield and that the bonds of matrimony now existing between himself and the said defendant be dissolved and the said plaintiff Johnson Hatfield be and he is hereby restored to all the rights, privileges and immunities of an unmarried man. And this cause having performed its object, the same is ordered to be stricken from the docket and it appearing that this order was made at the October 1890 term of this Court, and by _________ not entered, it is ordered that the same be entered now as for ____.

Source: Logan County Circuit Clerk’s Office, Logan County, WV, Case No. 33, File No. 35

The New Yorker (2016)


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John Hartford introduced me to The New Yorker magazine in the mid-1990s. “I need to get you a subscription to The New Yorker,” he told me several times. John had become familiar with the magazine as a youth. His parents were regular subscribers to the magazine; they encouraged him to read it because, they said, it contained the absolute best writing available. John told this story several times and I could tell by the way he retold it that he believed it to be true. In fact, after reading multiple issues (mostly John’s issues at the house, but also complimentary issues I spotted in medical offices), I agreed that, yes, The New Yorker did in fact contain the best writing available. Once I discovered Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, unquestionably the greatest true crime book ever written, and learned The New Yorker had frequently printed Capote’s writing, my love for the magazine became unshakable. For these reasons, and others, I am delighted to have made a small contribution to Larissa MacFarquhar’s story, “In the Heart of Trump Country,” published by The New Yorker on October 10, 2016. The opportunity to contribute to a New Yorker story, much less to appear in The New Yorker, is an honor.

You can read Larissa’s exceptionally well-composed piece by following this link:


Prior to the story, Larissa approached me (and other locals) about her desire to write a piece at least partly involving recent political developments in Logan County, West Virginia. I agreed to assist Larissa in whatever way I could for several reasons: I wanted to welcome her to my section of Appalachia, I wanted to be helpful, I wanted her story to succeed, I wanted her readers to better understand my region, I’m always anxious to discuss my region’s rich history… Larissa and I corresponded via email about general political history in Logan County, then enjoyed a memorable two-and-a-half-hour conversation at 317 Steak House in Logan. I liked her right away. I like her more after reading her story.

Larissa is an accomplished professional writer. You can read more about her impressive credentials by following these links:




It was likewise pleasurable to meet photographer Alec Soth and his assistant, Galen Fletcher, who visited Logan, Chapmanville, Ferrellsburg, and Harts Creek, in order to capture images pertinent to Larissa’s story. Alec took a few photos of me in Ferrellsburg, one of which ultimately appeared in the story, then spent a hot evening taking a ton of photos at one of my favorite Harts Creek cemeteries (the Anthony Adams Family Cemetery) and a nearby historic log cabin (Squire Sol Adams residence).

You can find out more about Alec by following these links:



He even has a Wikipedia entry!


These were nice folks. If they ever visit your part of the world, welcome them.


Ohio River Festival of Books (2016)


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Here we are selling books and meeting folks at the Ohio River Festival of Books in Huntington, WV. We are located at Pullman Plaza Hotel (second floor) on Friday, September 30, from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m., and Saturday, October 1, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. If you’re local, come and see us!