Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Koger Marries a Porter,
GrandDaughter of the Western Waters

On November 26, 1818, in Floyd County, Kentucky, my great-great-great-grandfather James Koger married Sarah Walker Porter, aka "Sally". Tracing the Walker name in Sally's name led me to her paternal grandmother Susanna Walker (1739-1795), who married Sgt. Patrick Porter (1737-1805) around 1756 at Walker's Creek, Augusta County, Virginia.
Sgt. Patrick Porter and his father-in-law, John Walker, my 6x great-grandfather, relocated to southwest Virginia about 1770-1772, settling on the Clinch River in what became Russell County. Western lands in North Carolina had been closed to settlement by Colonial government policy until 1778. In Virginia, however, Indian Treaties of 1768 and 1770 opened the "western waters" for settlement. While there had been settlers in the area before these treaties, emigration into the area did not begin in earnest until 1769-70. The Walker and Porter families were likely part of this immigration.
In 1772, the Porters, along with others, moved from Castle's Woods, where they had first settled, to Patrick Porter's land survey at Falling Creek, near present day Dungannon, Virginia. They quickly set to building a fort, called Porter's Fort, nearby. In 1774 Porter added a mill, the first on the Clinch River, and gradually a settlement began to grow.
Daniel Boone lived in the Castle's Woods, Virginia area from 1773-1775. The Porters were friends with the pioneer. Patrick's son (my 5x great-uncle) Samuel Walker Porter travelled with Daniel Boone to Kentucky in 1773, and in 1778 answered Boone's request for assistance defending Boonesborough during the Shawnee siege.
At various times, Patrick Porter commanded part or all of the forts along the Clinch River and was in charge of monitoring and responding to hostile Indian activity over a wide area.