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THE OWENS FAMILY came from Ireland, England and other lands to America to find a better life for themselves and their family.


Headstones for Mom and Dad in the Sutherland Cemetery


DAD b/6th January 1911 d/21st April 1976

MOM b/13th March 1913 d/18th July 2000

They were married on 4th May 1932

(above picture dated January 1940)

Doug and Nora owens.Just a short summary of Donald and Nora Owens: Donald Douglas "Doug" Owens was born in Dickenson County VA on January 06, 1911 to Rufus and Margaret SUTHERLAND/Owens. Doug died April 21, 1976. He was born and raised in the old Henry Sutherland homeplace on Long Ridge, Duty VA. Lived there until he married Nora Belle RASNAKE/Owens. Married on May 04, 1932 in Buchanan County VA (census has it May 05, 1932). Nora was born in Buchanan County VA on March 13, 1913 to Tom and Sarah BARTON/Rasnake. Nora died July 18, 2000. They both are buried in the Sutherland Cemetery at Abners Gap, Bee VA. Doug and Nora lived at Duty VA, having four children. 1. Pearlie Viola OWENS/Ramsey 2. Carson Edward Owens born August 28, 1935 and died October 06, 1935 3. Sharon Fontell "Fon" OWENS/Sexton 4. Fred Wilkie Owens. Doug had many jobs in his life. Worked for the WPA, carried mail by hosreback also working in a factory in Ohio. Then in 1943 moved into Buchanan County to start work in the coal mines. He stayed with the mines until he had to retire with black lung and rock dust in June 1970. He was working for Clinchfield Coal Corp, Moss No. 3 Duty Va when he retired. Not but a few miles from where he and mom went to housekeeping. Nora was a good wife, mother and housekeeper. Sewing, cooking and keeping everything going. She lived 24 years after Doug died and missed him everyone of them. They are buried side by side. Doug and Nora were both baptized September 1971 in the Duty View Church

This is the house my dad and mom went to housekeeping in located at Duty in Dickenson County VA. Dad build it with the help of others. All of us were born in this house. It has always seem so humble to me. We moved to Buchanan County in 1943. The house has long been gone, but memories stay a life time.

(Began this page 28th March 1999)

OWENS-is a patronymic variation of the Welsh surname Owens from the Welsh personal name Owain,likey drawn from Latin Rugenius. Bowen is another patronymic from, a shortened version of AP'Owen.


William Owens ggggGrandfather

Born:1700's Died: ???

Married:Nancy Anne ??? ggggGrandmother

Born:? Died:?

William Owens and Nancy Anne were born in what is now KY, but at the time was all VA

Harden Owens gggGrandfather

Born:1796 Died: abt 1887 War Fork, Russell Prater Creek VA

Married: 1st/Nancy Rebecca Ramey gggGrandmother daughter of Mose Ramey from KY

Born:? Died: before 1850

Children of Harden and Nancy Rebecca Ramey Owens;

1.William "Billy" Owens ggGrandfather

Married: 2nd/Delilah Ramey b/? d/?

Children of Harden and Delilah Owens;

1.Ceatta/Seattie Leathy Owens

2.Smith Owens

3.Jasper Owens

4.Rebecca "Becky" J. Owens

This is a story handed down about the marriage of Harden and Delilah. It must have been in the later parts of 1830's or later, that John Ramey, James Pressley and Harden Owens were trying to break a horse to ride. This all takes place in Buchanan County VA near Dry Fork Creek. John got on the horse and it threw him and stepped straight on his chest, killing him. They said the horse did it on purpose and so they shot the horse. They buried John Ramey and then buried the horse. Later, Harden's wife Rebecca died, so he married Delilah, widow of John Ramey. Rebecca was a sister to John Ramey, so Delilah was Harden's sister-in-law. Delilah was a Pressley at birth.

William "Billy" Owens ggGrandfather

Born:1822 (1833) Died:Paw Paw on Prater Creek, Buchanan County VA. William married first Annis Ramey d/o William Ramey. Annis Ramey was married first to a Jim Colley, they had 3 children together, they were Crockett Colley, Victoria Colley and Mallie Colley. After she married William Owens, she raised them as Owens. William Owens married second a Sarah "Sally" Presley Lester,she to had been married before William Owens, to a William Lester. Sarah b/1835 d/o William "Billy" Presley and Mary Runion/ Runyons. Sarah had 3 children in her first marriage,Hyram Lester, Jacob Lester and Nancy Lester. I found they were raised as Lesters.

Children of William "Billy" Owens and Annis Ramey Owens;

a)James Owens b/17th March 1849 d/28th December 1922 m/Sylvia "Sib" Sutherland on 22nd September 1871-my G-Grandparents

b)Arminda/Armeda "Lucinda" Owens b/1852 m/Shadrach "Shade" Compton

c)Almareen/Almarine Owens b/1854 m/October 1876 to Mary Ann Singleton

d)Martha "Mach" Owens b/1858

e)Martin "Mart" Owens b/1862 d/3rd January 1918 m/26th November 1879 to Thursa Wallis

f)Dow Owens

g)Joseph "Joe" Owens b/1857

Children of William "Billy" Owens and Sarah "Sally" Presley Lester, Owens

a)Lorenzo Dow Owens

b)Noah Owens

c)Benjamin Owens

d)Harden Owens

e)Amy Owens (never married)

f)Phoebe Owens

James Owens-G-Grandfather

Born:17th March 1849

Died:28th December 1922

Married:Sylvia "Sib" Sutherland

Born:6th March 1856

Died:17th March 1938

Front row: James Owens & Sylvia "Sib" Sutherland Owens (my gGrandparents)Second Row: Dona Owens Powers, Maggie Owens Rasnake, Ura Owens Penland, Minda Owens Kiser, Elizabeth Owens Owens, Violet Owens Carr Counts Third row: John Owens, Bone Owens, Rufus Owens (my Grandfather) Rean Owens, Burb Owens, Albert Owens)

Rufus Grimsley "Grizzle" Owens-Grandfather

Born:5th August 1880 Died:25th January 1950

Married:Cynthia Margaret Sutherland

Born:22nd September 1887 Died:10th March 1965

Donald Douglas Owens-my DAD

Born:6th January 1911 Died:21st April 1976

Married:Nora Belle Rasnake-my MOM

Born:13th March 1913 Died:18th July 2000

Children of James and Sylvia "Sib" Sutherland Owens

1.Almareen "Alvareen" "Allen Rean" "Reen" Owens(I found several variations of spelling, but on his headstone it is simply "Rean" Owens) b/27th January 1876 d/5th May 1941 m/Mary Sutherland

2.RUFUS GRIMSLEY "GRIZZLE" OWENS b/5th August 1880 d/25th January 1950 m/ Cynthia Margaret Sutherland My Grandparents

DONALD DOUGLAS OWENS-My Dad Born: 6th January 1911 Died: 21st April 1976

Buried in the Sutherland Cemetery Abners Gap

Married: NORA BELLE RASNAKE, OWENS my MOM Born: 13th March 1913 Died: 18th July 2000

Buried beside dad in the Sutherland Cemetery Abners Gap

Doug and Nora Children:

A.Pearlie Viola Owens b. august 15 1933 m/George W. Ramsey b. d.march 25 1966

Pearlie had three childern Ernest Michael Cole; Jerry Mitchell Ramsey; Donna Rebecca Ramsey

B.Carson Edward Owens Born: 28th August 1935 Died: 6th October 1935

Buried in Henry Sutherland/Rufus Owens Cemetery

C.Sharon Fontell "Fon" Owens b. June 9 1938 d. april 13 2009 m/Lloyd David Sexton b.February 10 1935 d. october 26 2010

Fon had two childern Jama Davene Sexton, Lloyd David Sexton Jr.

D.Fred Wilkie Owens b. November 1 1941 m/Ruby Yates Owens b.September 12 19

wilkie and Ruby had two childern Anthony Dwayne Owens, Kevin Owens

(above is a picture of Fontell (Fon) Owens/Sexton on the right and Madeline Owens/Kerr on the left. Fon's grandfather is Rufus Grimsley Owens, my dad is Donald Owens, then me. Madeline's grandfather is Albert Owens, her dad is Guy Owens and then Madeline. Making us very close kin. Our grandfathers are brothers. Madeline and I e-mail often and have visited some. Good to have close kin for friends.)

3.Albert Ross Owens b/19th December 1872 d/29th June 1932 m/Eunicy "Nicey" Mae Sutherland

4.Burbridge "Burb" Owens b/30th May 1874 d/18th October 1956 m/Louisa "Lizzie" Bowman

(above picture of Burb and Louisa)

5.John Owens b/1894 d/1941 m/ Fannie Sutherland

6.Minda Charm Owens b/12th May 1885 d/9th November 1959 m/Frank Fitzhugh Kiser b/11th June 1883 d/13th September 1964

(Aunt Minda and Aunt Mag)

(Above is Leafy and husband Ralph Kern Sutherland, Leafy is a daughter of Minda Owens/Kiser. Leafy and Ralph are parents of Kay Sutherland/Kuchan)

7.Margaret Magdeline L. "Maggie" Owens b/9th April 1891 d/8th July 1986 m/ William "Will" Rasnake

(above picture, left to right Mae Sutherland, Aunt Maggie and my dad, Donald Owens)

The picture on the left is Curtis and wife Mildred. The picture on the right is of uncle Will and aunt Mag on their 60th wedding anniversary. Uncle Will and Aunt Mag are seated in front. Standing behind L-R is Connie, Morgan, Cornet and Elaine.

8.Ura "Eura" Owens b/1887 d/1968 or 1978 m/ Spurge Penland

9.Elizabeth "Liz" Owens b/12th September 1882 d/16th May 1944 m/Walter Owens

10.Maxie Donna Owens b/4th July 1898 d/8th July 1946 m/Bryon Powers

11.Napoleon Bonaparte "Bone" Owens b/1889 d/1963 m/Ella Powers

12.Violet Owens b/1878 d/1931 m/1st Elijah Counts 2nd Luther Karr

this picture was take just a few weeks before grandpa died,front row-Rufus and Margaret Owens-starting at the back; Crockett Owens, Tivis Sutherland, Curtis Tiller, Garner Tiller, Kenneth Owens, Edith Owens, Ralph Tiller, Marie Tiller, June Sutherland, Bee Tiller, Beecher Sutherland, Panzy Sutherland, Wallace Tiller Chatman Tiller, picture around 1949.


Born:5th August 1880

Died:25th January 1950

Buried in Henry Sutherland/Rufus Owens Cemetery on mountain top where he lived Duty VA


Born: 22th September 1887

Died: 10th March 1965

Buried in Sutherland Cemetery Abners Gap


1.Ellen Risie Iolet Owens b/11th Janurary 1907 d/9th December 1983 m/Henry "Parrot" Tiller b/11th January 1908

(Aunt Risie)

( 3 of Aunt Risie's children )

(Andra Kay, Amos and Alta Jean)

2.Howard Taft Owens b/8th September 1908 d/7th August 1973 m/Velva Gladys Rasnake

(Uncle Taft and Aunt Velva)

3.DONALD DOUGLAS OWENS b/6th January 1911 d/21st April 1976 m/Nora Belle Rasnake born march 13, 1913 died july 18, 2000

(Donald and Nora,my parents)

4.Beatrice Owens b/23rd November 1912 d/22nd December 1998 m/William Ezra Tiller

Front row: Chatman, Wallace Back row: Ralph,died Jan 3, 2013, Aunt Bea Owens Tiller, Garnett, died august 1, 2012 lived at Council VA

5.Silver June Owens b/12th August 1915 d/30th August 1985 m/Tivis Sutherland

(picture above)Uncle Tivis and Aunt June with banjos and family picture left to right Billy,Beecher,June,Tivis,Michael and Pansy

Descendants of Tivis and June Sutherland

6.Sidney Chatman Owens b/28th August 1917 d/22nd March 1986 m/Ruby Estelle O'Quinn

(Uncle Chatman)

( uncle Chapman army picture )

7.Lawrence Perice Owens b/8th November 1919 d/8th November 1989 m/Edna Farmer

(Uncle Lawrence)

8.Luther Crocket Owens b/29th January 1922 d/21st December 1987 m/Edith Deel

(Uncle Crocket)

9.Mary Marie Owens b/05th December 1924 d/04th February 2004 m/Curtis Elmer Tiller

(Aunt Marie)

Seated in front is Aunt Marie and Uncle Curtis Tiller, second row: Vivian, Cathy, Peggy, Pearl and Norma, third row: Clell, Edd, Wayne, Jearl, and Danny.

10.Easter Onie Owens b/17th April 1927 d/16th April 1978 m/Cecil Bowman

(Aunt Onie)

"The Owens Girls" left to right: Marie, Onie, June, Rissie and Beatrice


Born: 6th January 1911

Died: 21st April 1976

Buried in the Sutherland Cemetery Abners Gap


Born: 13th March 1913

Died: 18th July 2000

Buried beside dad in the Sutherland Cemetery Abners Gap




1.Pearlie Viola Owens born august 1933 m/George Washington Ramsey born died March 1966

left to right Jerry, George, Pearlie and Donna Ramsey


a. Ernest Michael Cole born February 1, 1951 married august 4, 1972/ Barbra Carol Rowe Cole born September 6, 1948


a. Kelly Sean Brennan born October 11, 1968 m/ Laura Lynn Click born February 1,


a. Daniell Click February 4, 1992

2.Carson Edward Owens b/28th August 1935 d/6th October 1935 buried in Henry Sutherland/Rufus Owens Cemetery Duty VA (died of crib death)

3.Sharon Fontell Owens born June 9, 1938 died April 13, 2009 m/ 9th June 1956/Lloyd David Sexton born 10th February died October 26, 2010


a.Jama Davene Sexton b/2nd February 1957 died December 2015 m/ Danny McClanahan


a.Laura Danielle McClananhan b/27th April 1988 m/ Hud born divorced

b.Andrea Davene McClananhan b/20th March 1991 m/


a.Keisha Shay McClanahan March 4, 2008

b.Aleyah Davene McClanahan March 4, 2008

c.Gracie Fay McClanahan May 21, 2010

d.Josie Leann Keen October 28, 2012

e.Sierra Elizabeth Keen May 6, 2015

b. Lloyd David Jr. born m/Alesha Waterhouse born (divorced 2003)


a.Sharon Renee b/26th July 1985 m/ Grundy born

b.Sarah Marie b/12th January 1990 m/

4.Fred Wilkie Owens born November 1, 1940 m/Ruby Yates September 12, 39


a. Antony Dewayne Owens born November 3, 1963 m/

b. Kevin Bradley Owens September 10, 69 m/ Linda Renee Mullins Owens February 25, 73


a. Kasara Maranda Owens October 28, 94

b. Hunter Bradley Owens March 7, 06

c. Kevin Levi Owens June 29, 10

David, our 2 children, some in-laws and myself have lived here since September 1967. So many times we go looking for a picture of your homeplace, I thought I would post one on my page for all to see. We have lived and enjoyed every inch of this old house. Lived here 39 years. Have had the same address, phone number all those years. Looks like we are having a party. Wish I could remember what was going on. It looks like we all seemed to love trucks. This house is on route 460 and faces the road. Dirt and all.

The newest twig on the OWENS tree is Peyton Mullins. Here he is with mother Tina and big sister Seirra. They are Pearlie Owens/Ramsey's ggrandchildren.


(above picture dated 1986, left to right: Aunt Bea, Aunt Marie, Fon holding first granddaughter Sharon, Aunt Edna and Nora my mom)

Born:9th June 1938

Married:Lloyd David Sexton

Born:10th February 1935

We live in Oakwood

Married 9th June 1956


1.Jama Davene Sexton m/Danny Lee McClanahan

Children:Laura and Andrea

2.Lloyd David Sexton Jr. m/Alesha Waterhouse (divorced in June 2003)

children:Sharon and Sarah


(Documented 28th March 1999)

Henry Homer Sutherland ggGrandfather



Married:Margaret Counts Sutherland ggGrandmother



John Marshal Randolph Sutherland gGrandfather

Born:6th July 1851

Died:18th October 1929

Married:Mary Lester Sutherland gGrandmother

Born:February 1861

Died:22nd January 1924

John M.R. Sutherland and his family. Margaret ( my grandmother ) is second from right, this was taken about 1910.


1.Rosa"Rose" I. Sutherland,Compton b/31st May 1893 d/21st January 1978 m/Watson Clair Compton


(Grandma Owens)

This picture was taken when Rose and Watson were married. Rose is one of Granny Owens sisters. This would have been about 1913. Grandma Owens is on the left side. Granny's husband Rufus my Grandfather is standing behind her.

Grandma Owens and Eddie Baily, Uncle Cutis's sister

b/22nd September 1887 d/10th March 1965

3.Victoria B.Sutherland b/6th April 1884 d/19th December 1944 m/William Marshall Sutherland s/o Squire and Annie Musick Sutherland

4.Hattie Ruth Sutherland b/5th April 1900 d/1st June 1941 m/Franklin Pierce Sutherland

5.Frank Stratton "Strat" Sutherland

(Strat and Nervie)

b/22nd March 1890 d/11th April 1958 m/Minerva Kathern "Nervie" Viers

6.John Morgan Sutherland b/5th April 1903 d/15th January 1969 m/Maggie Selfe

7.Henry David "Dave" Sutherland b/11th August 1888 d/13th December 1936 m/Ida Mae Breeding

8.Alma Sutherland (never married)

b/1st January 1898 d/ 14th January 1960

Cynthia Margaret Sutherland,Owens My Grandmother

Grandparents Mothers side, Abner Lester (1829 - 1868) married Cynthia Ann Ball Lester (1832 - 1920)

Children of Abner Lester and Cynthia Ann Ball Lester

Martha J. Lester McFarlane (1850 - 1903)*

Nancy Lester Presley (1851 - 1922)*

James Lester (1855 - 1920)*

Mary Lester Sutherland (1861 - 1924)* Mother of Cynthia Margaret Sutherland Owens, my ggg grandmother

Jessie Lester (1863 - 1931)*

Eliza Lester Combs (1865 - 1888)*

Barbara Lester Tiller (1868 - 1940)*


Born:22nd September 1887

Died:10th March 1965

Buried in the Sutherland Cemetery Abners Gap


Born:5th August 1880

Died:25th January 1950

Buried in Henry Sutherland/Rufus Owens Cemetery on Long Ridge, Duty VA, mountain top where he lived.

Children are listed in the Owens page above.

Above picture was a gathering after church of The Primitive Baptist at Duty View Church. Great Grandma Sylvia Sutherland/Owens is the lady in this picture. She is said to have worn a black dress and white apron at all times. She also wore shoes with topped buttons. The preachers are Elbert Stevens, William "Bill" Sutherland and Garmon Sutherland. Uncle Stratton Sutherland her nephew is standing beside her. This is a picture posted by Ruby K. Forcum in the Dickenson Star, Clintwood VA.

Please e-mail if you have additional information. Or if I have wrote in error. Written to the best of my research, Sharon Fontell "Fon" Owens, Sexton.

updated 13 September 2008

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