by Charles C. Chaney
Moses Damron or Dameron (the name is recorded with and without the "e")
of Russell County, Virginia, reportedly married Aggie (or Aggy) Owl.
Researchers have not been able to locate a family of that surname in
the appropriate area. However, the family names Ogle and Howl
were found in the area. Howl may have been a corruption of
Howell. (The Howle family of Virginia and South Carolina has
pronounced their name as "Owl" for generations. See: "NOTE"
below.) There has been much speculation that she was Cherokee but
a recent DNA test indicated that to
be unlikely.*)There have been questions as to the source of the
information that Aggie’s surname was Owl since a specific source has
not been generally quoted. The primary one seems to be an article
that appeared in the 1 April 1896 issue of the Ceredo Advance,
a newspaper in Ceredo, Wayne County, West Virginia. It is
interesting in that it names Aggie Owl as the wife of Moses
Damron of Russell County, Virginia. Frustratingly, the writer
was unidentified. The article is presented here as it was
Samuel Damron, Sr.
The source of the
information in this article is unrecorded although it is possible that
“Samuel Damron, esq.,” may have provided some if not all of the
information. This does not constitute proof of the surname of the
wife of Moses Damron of Russell County, Virginia, but it does offer a
possibility if not a probability.
Mr. Editor:--Please insert this brief history in your valuable paper,
as it circulates among the relatives and friends of one of the old
pioneer fathers of the upper end of Wayne county, to-wit:
Samuel Damron, Sr.
Born May 7, 1794, in New Garden, Russell county, Va., and
came down Big Sandy in the year 1808 along with his father, Lasarus
Damron and three brothers--Moses, Richard and George--and settled five
miles below what is now Piketown. At the age of 21 years, he married
Sally, the daughter of Silas Ratcliff, known a "Aunt Fat Sally," and
moved from Pike County in the year 1819 and settled at the farm where
Samuel J. Ferguson now lives. Then in 1828 moved back in Pike county
and settled on Brushy Creek of John's creek; remained there until 1834,
when he moved back to the Left Fork of 12 Pole at the mouth of McComas
creek and remained there until he was buried there in the year in the
His mother was Nancy Short, and his grandmother Aggie Owl.
To him and "Aunt Fat Sally" were born ten children, to-wit: Nancy,
Betty, Neary, Anna, Milley, Polley, Jennie (all yet living save Nancy
and Milley), and three sons, Moses, Silas and George Washington, all
alive, and their hair is silvery white by the frosts of many winters.
You can scarcely stop at any house in the upper end of Wayne county but
you will see a son, grandson, daughter or granddaughter of this time
honored old pioneer hunter, or some of his brothers, sons and daughters.
Samuel Damron, esq., who is now living at Cassville, W.
Va., and is 84 years of age, was named for the subject of this sketch,
and he, too, was born in this (Wayne) county and was never lived out of
the county since it was made, for a day.
When this sketch is read by the many gray-haired relatives
and friends of the old bear and dear hunter, they will wonder who knew
him so well. In answer will say a
Relative and Friend
There is a report that there has been
found a record,
from the appropriate time and place, in Albemarle County, Virginia, of
the construction of a road in which Moses Damron and his sons are
mentioned along with a James Owl. This indicates the presence of
family of the Owl surname was in the area. However, this must be
NOTE: According to
information published on the Internet by House of Names (Swyrich
Corporation), the surname Owl is of English origin with spelling
variations including Owle, Howl, Howle, among others. It appeared in
Suffolk County in early times. In the mid-1600's settlers with this
name migrated to the eastern seaboard of North America from
Newfoundland to the Carolinas. It is uncertain just how accurate
this information may be since no sources were given. Further
investigation is required.
NOTE: I have had DNA tests including mtDNA, Autosomal DNA and Family Finder DNA (at two separate companies). I am a direct descendant of Aggie Owl yet no
indication of Native American ancestry has appeared.
-- Charles C. Chaney