Page 12 - Armentrout Family History
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A search for your ancestors will reveal the past, may give a clue to the present, and be a guide to the future. There are

many reasons to start a person on the trail of his ancestors. I was curious about the Armentrout Family, who they were and

where they came from. However, sometimes it can be embarassing to shake the family tree. My shaking the tree produced no

regrettable results. It provided a hobby that has been both interesting and entertaining. Through it I have carried on an ex-

tensive correspondence and made many friends, some of whom it has been my pleasure to meet personally.

As the story of this family unfolds, it is surprising how they adapted to the hard ways of the frontier in a new and alien

land. They accepted responsibilities in their communities, supported their churches and united for the common defense of

home and country when danger threatened. As a general rule they prospered through hard work and frugal living. Education

and a better life for their children was ever a goal, and it would be most interesting to follow their religious tendencies and

educational goals through many generations to watch their development. This, however, is beyond the scope of this history

and must be left to some future researcher to fathom.

This book represents the research and accumulation of family information over a period of nearly thirty years. It is not

complete in many lines, but it should provide a good starting point for those desiring to carry them further. A history of a

family as extensive as the Armentrouts obviously cannot be the work of a single individual but of necessity must contain con-

tributions from many sources and from many people. This book starts with the landing of a widow and her seven children

from the ship "Samuel" in the port of Philadelphia, 27 Aug 1739. In a work of this scope some errors will occur. However,

it is hoped that these will be minimal arid for these your indulgence is requested.

While extensive research has gone into this compilation, it could not have been completed without the contributions of'

many interested family members. Their help and encouragement has been the incentive to publish this book and preserve

these accumulated family records. The contributors to this work, while greatly appreciated, are too numerous to list com-

pletely. The contributors are recognized throughout the book where credit is given for the source data following each in-

dividual paragraph.

My first genealogical "pen pal" was Mrs. Arie Kenney Ermentrout, with whom I corresponded from early in 19 50 until her

death in 1971. She was a truly remarkable woman. She had a keen sense of humor; a keen analytical mind; and thoroughly

enjoyed genealogical research together with the many puzzles such research produces. She had an uncanny memory for

small but significant details and much of the basic details in this story were due to her knowledge and insight. She had an

early theory that Christopher, the fifth child in the original family, was married and had a child while the family still resided

in Penna. But it was not until after her death that proof of this was found. I once spent part of two delightful days visiting

with her in her home in Illinois. It was not only a pleasure but a privilege to have known her, and it is with real regret that

she cannot be present at the completion of a project to which she contributed so much.

Others to whom special mention must be made are Patricia Smith and her sister, Elenore Embree, who covered the Kansas

and Missouri area, with valuable documentary results; Mr. and Mrs. Montie Armentrout for extensive research in the Rocking-

ham Co., Va., records; Helen Virginia Childs for research in the court records of Allegheny Co., Va.; M. Ellsworth Kyger for

data on the descendants of Frederick and Catherine Barbara Ermentraudt Kyger; Mrs. Lee (Nellie) Taylor for information on

the descendants of Ezekial and Annamelia Armentrout McKibben; Lula Bennett for much family information; Mrs. George

(Betty) Schaeffer for extensive research and help on the Berks Co., Penna., Ermentrouts; Mary L. Buzzard for the descen-

dants of Daniel and Anna Marie Ermentraudt Krob (Grubb); Betty Augustine for pictures and documents on George and

Christina Ermentraudt Diffendaffer; Timothy Bliss for research and information on many Pacific Coast connections; Marie

Arrington for valuable information on many Valley families; and Gladys G. Casperson for data on some of the Tennessee


Recognition must also be given to Thomas Ebaugh (dee) for the exchange of valuable family data in connection with the

research for his book, "Ancestors of George McNett and Susan Armentrout." I must further gratefully acknowledge my in-

debtedness to Abigail (Abby) Jones, John Tyre Funkhouser, and Kathleen and Michael Finnegan for advice and helpful sug-

gestions in the preparation of this history; also for their reading and editing parts of the whole. Frances and James Curtis

Frymoyer also assisted in many ways, particularly in the copying of a group of pre-Civil War letters and making available a

copy of Rosa Bell Armentrout's school girl diary. Appreciation is also given to Mrs. Robert V. (Roselind W.) Smith for per-

mission to include excerpts from her grandmother, Dr. Rosa Bell Armentrout Butterfield's diary. The librarians of the Fairfax

Co., Va., Public Library assisted in the procurement of microfilm from the Virginia State Library at Richmond. The officials

in the County Clerk's Office of Rockingham Co., Va., at Harrisonburg; of Rockbridge Co., Va., at Lexington and of Botetourt

Co., Va., at Fincastle, Va., were most helpful in my research in the various county records in the files of these three offices. I

am also indebted to Reinhard Ilgner for the excellent photocopies he made of many old and faded photographs and tin-types.

I also wish to show my appreciation to the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Co., Va., Historical Society for their kind endorse-

ment as well as members of family descent who are members of an Ad Hoc Committee and through their efforts made this

project possible. The Armentrout Family Publishing Committee who through their efforts brought the project to completion:

Mrs. Marie K. Arrington, chr.; Anna Armentrout, treas.; Nelson Alexander (pres., H-R Hist. Soc.), Printing; Weldon Armen-

trout, Finance and Advertising. ยท

Finally I must also give credit to my wife, Marjorie, for her encouragement in my work and her tolerance of my predilec-

tion to be with my "re-latives." -RSA

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