The Case of Samuel Grove v. Administrator of Estate of Thomas Winters

By Deven Winders Lewis
co-administrator of the Winder Surname DNA Project
and Darlene Dary

April 2014

First Case Entry was May, 1805; Thomas Winders Sr. died in 1807; Estate was Administered by Daniel Aleshire

Names Appearing in the Case & Relationships/Other Connections:

(Note: Although only one footnote is provided for each noted piece of information, an attempt was made to corroborate each source with numerous other sources to provide the most commonly held belief/information of researchers.)

Samuel Grove - Plaintiff (born Mar 4, 1785, died Mar 25, 1845, son of Marcus Grove)1

Believed to be the same Samuel Grove who purchased items at the sale of the estate of Thomas Winders, Shenandoah County, VA, February 24, 1810. Some trees show Samuel as having a brother, John Samuel Grove (born 1769, died 1826, who was married to Nancy Hollingsworth, probably related to William Hollingsworth, below.

Marcus Grove (died Sep 19, 1808, father of Samuel Grove)2

Married to Susannah Roads, daughter of Rev. John Roads3 of the tragic 1764 massacre. Thomas Winders, Jr., witnessed a water transaction between “Marks” Grove and John Roads in Shenandoah County on June 9, 1798; Thomas Winders, Jr., is also believed to be the “Thomas Winters” who purchased items at the Marcus Grove estate sale in November, 1808.

William C. Hollingsworth (born c. 1770)4

Susan Grove Hollingsworth (wife of William, daughter of Marcus Grove, sister of Samuel)5

Susan Grove, was married to William Hollingsworth in Shenandoah County on December 11, 1798.

Jeremiah Evans (died c. 1816; will written 27 Feb. 1816, probated Mar 11, 1816)

Believed to be a brother of Elijah Evans who died testate in 1799 and who was the father of Susannah Evans whom Thomas Winders, Jr., married in Shenandoah County, VA on Oct 20, 1800)6

Elijah Evans

Son of Jeremiah Evans, named in Jeremiah’s will; married cousin Precious Evans in Shenandoah County, Oct 14, 1800.

Conrad Aleshire aka John Conrad Aleshire (born Dec 27, 1755, died Mar 16, 1847)7

Daniel Aleshire - Defendant/Adm. of Estate of Thomas Winders

Son of Conrad Aleshire. Daniel Aleshire married Elizabeth “Louisa” Bixler in Shenandoah County on Dec 15, 1815. Louisa was the sister of Mary “Molly” Bixler, who married Thomas Winders’ son, Clement Winders, in 1814. Both girls, Louisa and Molly, are named in the will of their father, Michael Bixler.

Daniel Strickler (see discussion below)

Isaac Strickler (see discussion below)

John Roads (born 1783, son of Michael Roads and Ann Strickler, daughter of Benjamin Strickler8)

John’s father and aunt, Michael Roads and Susannah Roads, were survivors of the 1764 Roads (Rhodes) family massacre. John Roads was a purchaser of items at Thomas Winders 1810 estate sale.


The case record indicates that Thomas Winders had been working for Christian Forrer (per the deposition of John Gratage; Christian Forrer was running a sawmill and carding machine in 1813 9. (The Forrer name was also associated with furnaces in the area.) A Christian Forrer was listed in the probate record of Thomas Winders’ son, William Winders, who died in Fairfield County, OH, in 1826; Christian was listed among the men (some from Shenandoah) working on the “Station 15 Reservoir Bank” portion of the Ohio Canal Project, which William was supervising at the time of his death. (see William Winders page).

James Headley

James Headley was referred to in the History of Shenandoah County as “James Headly Esqr.”,10 thus he was an attorney and did take depositions in the case, however, it appears he was not representing either of the parties in the case.

Case Summary:

Thomas Winders had been leasing from and living on a tract of land owned by Samuel Grove’s father in Powells Fort in 1803. How long Thomas had been leasing the land is not stated. Samuel Grove proposed to buy Thomas Winders out of the lease in 1803 for 8 pounds (he gave Thomas a rifle worth 4 pounds and a promissory note for the balance of 4 pounds). Sometime later that same year, Thomas Winders and Samuel Grove were at the home of Conrad Aleshire where Thomas was drinking heavily. During this meeting at Aleshire’s, Thomas and Samuel struck a bargain in which Thomas would accept a certain parcel of wheat (which Thomas had sown on the same property he previously leased) in lieu of the 4 pounds still owed to him. But Thomas apparently had buyer’s remorse the next day over the wheat bargain, particularly since it was his wife’s well-known intent to buy a new saddle with the 4 pounds, according to depositions of Susan Hollingsworth, Elijah Evans and Jeremiah Evans. However, about the time the wheat should have been harvested, it was trampled by horses and pigs belonging to William and Susan Hollingsworth, who were then occupying the property. (Exactly what occurred when and who was in possession of the wheat is unclear, probably the reason it became the court’s responsibility to unravel.)

Apparently in early 1805, Thomas Winders obtained a court order for payment of the outstanding balance of 4 pounds plus interest, but Samuel Grove was granted an injunction in May of 1805. The bond associated with the injunction reflects the names of “Samuel Groves” and “Marks Groves”, with one rifle and a saddle belonging to Samuel Grove taken into possession of the sheriff of Shenandoah County as security for the bond. The case was continued for many months, and then Thomas Winders died intestate in 1807, and Daniel Aleshire was appointed Administrator of the estate. Although the case file includes depositions of parties who were ordered to testify in the matter, such as the Evanses, Daniel Strickler, John Gratage, and “Susana” Hollingsworth, the case file does not include the judgment. The case was continued from month to month and year to year; it appears not to have come to an end until 1827. This may have been largely due to the War of 1812 and its impact on Shenandoah County11 and/or to the parties’ waning interest in pursuing the matter.

The Groves:

Nothing in the case file specifically identifies the Samuel Grove in the case as the Samuel Grove who was the son of Marcus Grove. However a number of references in the documents suggest the subject property was owned by Marcus Grove: (1) Samuel’s reference to the leased land as belonging to his father; (2) “Samuel Groves” and “Marks Grove” both being bound by the 1805 bond; (3) the June 30, 1810 deposition of John Gratage in which he stated that he “…lived with William Hollingsworth on a tract of land where Thomas Winters had lived the year before in Powels fourt”; and (4) the Aug 25, 1810 deposition of “Susana” Hollingsworth in which she states that “her husband and herself” had care of the field belonging to Grove. Susan Grove Hollingsworth has been identified in genealogy research as the daughter of Marcus Grove.

Marcus Grove’s daughter, Barbara, was married to Balser Hupp.12 Balser (or his son) appears as “Balzer” Hupp in the list of the William Winders 1826 estate Administration Account as also having been a worker on the canal project referenced above. (Also listed is Abraham Hershberger, who was married to Barbara Hupp.)

Marcus Grove’s daughter, Elizabeth Grove, married Henry Clem in 1808 in Powells Fort; Henry was the son of Michael Clem and Rebecca Reedy.13 Henry Clem purchased items at the 1810 sale of the estate of Thomas Winders, and also appears in the William Winders 1826 estate Administration Account as owed money for “boarding hands on Reservoir.”

The Stricklers:

The deposition of Daniel Strickler was taken on the 30th day of June, 1810, by John Roads and Isaac Strickler. In his deposition, Daniel states that “Some time after the circumstances had happened the Said Thos. Winters came and stayed all night at my house…” There were at least two Daniel Stricklers of age in Shenandoah County during the pertinent time period; these two Daniels were cousins, one being the son of Jacob Strickler and one being the son of Benjamin Strickler; Jacob and Benjamin were both sons of Abraham Strickler and Mary Ruffner. It is likely that the Winders had ties to both of these Daniels, as did John Roads, obfuscating our ability to identify with any certainty which Daniel Strickler was deposed.

The Winders did have family ties to the Stricklers and Ruffners, but not until 1814 (7 years after the death of Thomas Winders), when the son of Thomas Winders, Clement Winders, married Mary “Molly” Bixler, as explained below.

Daniel Strickler, son of Jacob Strickler, was the step-son of Abraham Heistand (Heaston); Daniel’s mother, Magdaline Moomaw Strickler, married Abraham after the death of Jacob Strickler. Abraham’s father was Heinrich Heistand, the maternal line of Thomas Winders’ daughter-in-law, Mary “Molly” Bixler - Abraham was Molly’s great uncle – a brother to Molly’s grandfather, Peter Heistand. Molly’s aunt Elizabeth Heistand married Benjamin Ruffner, believed to be a son of Peter Ruffner, father of Mary Ruffner who married Abraham Strickler.

Daniel Strickler was a witness to the will of Molly’s grandfather, Peter Heistand, dated March 9, 1812, and it is likely that it was this Daniel, son of Jacob, who was the witness.

This Daniel Strickler is known as the “stone house Daniel”, who occupied the Heiston-Strickler house near Luray, as shown on our Abraham Heistand page.

Isaac Strickler was also a son of Jacob Strickler, thus the brother of the above Daniel; Daniel and Isaac were half brothers of John Strickler, i.e., Daniel and Isaac’s father, Jacob Strickler was first married to Nancy Kauffman (Coffman) before being married to Daniel and Isaac’s mother, Magdaline Moomaw. John Strickler was the son of Jacob Strickler and first wife, Nancy Kauffman.14 That John Roads and Peter Heistand (whose mother was Mary Elizabeth Brumbach, and whose granddaughter was Molly Bixler Winders) had ties to Isaac and Daniel Strickler is evidenced by the following abstract of John Strickler’s will:

Will Book F P. 30
John Strickler, Parish of Beckford, County of Shenandoah. My half-brother: Isaac Strickler - part of land which was tevsitet (sic) between him and his brother, Daniel Strickler, as tevsitet and apart from John Roads, Peter Hestant and Samuel Stover, it being part of his father's estate.
Exor: John Broombaugh
Wit: Daniel Strickler and David Beaver
Dated: 18 Jan 1802; Proved: 13 Sep 1802

John Roads also had family ties to both Daniel and Isaac Strickler (sons of Jacob); they were John Roads great uncles (having been uncles to John’s mother, Ann Strickler).

Daniel Strickler, son of Benjamin Strickler, had even closer-in ties to John Roads – John’s mother, Ann Strickler, was also a child of Benjamin Strickler – a sister to this Daniel Strickler. Thus, John Roads was a nephew of this Daniel Strickler and a grandson of Benjamin Strickler. Daniel Strickler was married to Margaret Crabill in 1805, and John Roads was married to Mary Crabill; Margaret and Mary were sisters, daughters of Christian Crabill and Barbara Mauck.15 According to Harry Strickler16, this Daniel Strickler “lived at and operated the mill opposite Upper Egypt in Page County…”

Clement and Molly Bixler Winders’ daughter, Elizabeth Winders, married a Jacob Strickler (born VA c. 1812) in Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1831. Elizabeth and Jacob named their first son “Daniel.” We are researching the possibility that Jacob was a previously unidentified son of this Daniel Strickler.


We welcome any additions or corrections to the information given in this report! In particular, we would appreciate any information that might help us to identify which Daniel Strickler had given the deposition in the case.


1, Licking Cemetery, Licking County, OH

2, Grove Cemetery, Bixler’s Ferry, Page County, VA

6 Research of Annie Jo Gardner, email to Deven Lewis dated 29 Apr 1999.

9 John Walter Wayland, A History of Shenandoah County, Virginia, p. 250.

10 Ibid, p.245.

11 Ibid, beginning p. 245.