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John 3:14-21 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.Click here for more information about the Gospel.
James Russell was born in 1791 in Sidmoth, Devon, England. He married Martha Humphries who was born in 1791 in Bath, Somerset. They had five children who are as follows:
Thomas Russell (born 1820 on Walcot Street in Bath, Somerset County, England;
Henry Russell (born 9/20/1821 in Bath, Somerset, England and died September 1893 in Avon, Somerset, England. His wife was Susannah Watts whom he married on January 12, 1844;
James Russell (born 1822 in Walcot, Somerset, England;
John Russell (Born 1826 in Walcot, Somerset, England);
Elizabeth Russell (Born 1828 in Walcot, Somerset, England) Elizabeth Russell was a Governess who married William Tremayne. They lived at 3 East Redcliff Parade, St Mary Redcliffe, Gloucestershire, Bristol, England.
The 1841 British Census for Walcot Civil Parish, in the Town of Bath, Somerset County, England lists James Russell(50, a Yeoman or farmer), his wife Martha(50), son Thomas(20, a carpenter), son Henry (15, a scholar), son James (15, a scholar), son John (15, a scholar), and daughter Elizabeth (13) as all being born in Somerset County.
Some of the previous and following information was provided by Andrea Whitaker.
Henry Russell was born on September 20, 1821 in the Town of Bath, Somerset County, England. On January 12, 1844 he married Susannah Watts. Susannah Watts was born on September 12, 1824 and died on July 14, 1882. Her father was William Watts (born in Somerset in 1796), her mother was Florence Claris (born in France in 1796), her siblings were Emma Watts (born 1829 in Somerset) and William Watts (born in Somerset in 1831) Her parents lived in Walcot Civil Parish, Somerset, Bath, England during the 1841 England Census.
Henry and Susanna Russell had six children who are as follows:
William Henry Russell (11-10-1848 - 4-19-1925) who imigrated to Summers County, West Virginia, United States about 1875;
James Russell(11/28/1850 - 2/1/1930 who was an artist in London. His wife was Rosalthea (Limbrick) Russell(10/30/1860-10/1/1956) and his children were John Howard Russell(b 8/19/1887 in London - ?), Alice Russell (5/20/1885 in Cheltenham - 8/29/1962), and Mabel Limbrick Russell (11/23/1893 at Westbury - 9/26/1925 in Canada);
Emma Russell (8/17/1854- ?);
Herbert Sydney Russell (2/4/1859-?) Herbert worked for the city of London and lived on Hornsey Road, Hampstead, north of London. Research indicates that Herbert married Jessie Ellen Crabb who was born in Tunbridge, Kent, England about 1862. Jessie's father was John Augustus Crabb and her sister was probably Emma Jane Crabb (Based upon Herbert and Jessie's marriage record on April 13, 1881) Herbert and Jessie lived in Islington, London in the 1891 Census. Their four children were Evelyn J. Russell (born 1862 in Barnsbury, London), Isabel G. Russell (born 1891 in Highgate, London), Josephine D. Russell (born 1897 in Kew, Surrey), and Arthur Reginald Russell (born 6/15/1888 in Highgate, London); and
Albert Russell (1865 ? - ?) who reportedly died during childhood.
The 1851 British Census (for Walcot St S. within HO197/1943 Page 8 Folio 325 in the Town of Bath, Somerset County) lists Henry (29), his wife Susannah (26), son William Henry (2), and son James (4m) as all being born at Bath and living on Walcot St S. The census also lists his occupation as being a "Saddler", which is one who makes, sells and repairs saddles for horses.
The 1881 British Census (FHL Film 1341586 PRO Ref RG11 Piece 2437 Folio 52 Page 2) has a 59 year old Henry Russell living at 4 Northgate Street, Bath St. Michael, Somerset, England with his 56 year old wife Susan and his 16 year old son Albert. The Russells are each listed as being Portmantau Makers with Henry Russell being a Master Portmantau Maker. A Portmantau Maker is one who makes luggage. Apparently, sometime between 1851 and 1881, Henry changed his occupation from being a "Saddler" to making leather luggage.
The 1881 British Census also shows a 22 year old Herbert Russel, who was born in Bath, Somerset, England, being a Lodger in the home of Thomas White at 18 Upper Barnsbury Street, Islington, London, Middlesex, England. He would be the correct age since he was reportedly born 1859.
The 1881 British Census also shows a 24 year old Henry Russell, who was born in Bath, Somerset, England, being a Fireman at Old Kent Road Fire Engine Station, Camberwell, Surrey, England (FHL Film 1341161 PRO Ref RG11 Piece 0693 Folio 94 Page 36).
Further, the 1881 British Census shows a 30 year old James Russell, who was born in Bath, being a "Portrait & Landscape Painter." He is listed as dwelling at Treavon Villa, Cheltenham, Gloucester, England (FHL Film 1341621 PRO Ref RG11 Piece 2577 Folio 20 Page 33). Incidentally, the 1881 British Census shows that James future wife Rosalthe Limbrick (20) born in Ledbury, Hereford, England was a Milliner living at 33B Cowl St, Evesham All Sts, Worcester, England with a Mary Harrison. (FHL Film 1341701 PRO Ref RG11 Piece 2925 Folio 21 Page 34)
The 1891 British Census shows a 69 year old Henry Russell living in the household of his sister Elizabeth Tremaine (62 a widow) in St Mary Redcliffe, in the parish of Redcliff St Mary, Town of Weston in Gordano, Gloucestershire County, Bristol District. Based on his indication of his birth in Bath Somerset, England and his age, it appears that this is the correct Henry Russell. Bessie Russell had indicated to her children that Henry Russell's wife was Emma Tremaine. However, it was apparently Henry's sister who was Elizabeth Tremaine. This is another piece in this puzzle which appears to match available information
The 1901 British Census shows no indication that Henry Russell or Susannah Russell were still living.
William Henry Russell was the oldest child of Henry Russell and Susan Russell and was born on November 10, 1848 in the Town of Bath, Somerset County, England. His father Henry was a harnessmaker (saddler) and possibly also a shoemaker. The 1881 British Census indicates Henry was a Portmantau Maker (luggage maker) living at 4 Northgate Street, Bath St. Michael, Somerset, England. William's siblings were James R. (11/28/1850)-2/1/1930), Henry R., Emma R. (8/17/1854- ), Herbert Sydney R. (2/4/1859- ), and Albert R.
William immigrated to America from Somerset County, England at an unknown age. One of his grandsons John H. R. was told by his father Overton H. R. that William had been working on a merchant ship and likely jumped ship. William became a naturalized USA citizen on November 25, 1875. William met and fell in love with Nancy Katherine Harvey and told her he needed to go away to work for three years, apparently to earn enough money so they could get married. He then went to New Orleans where he worked for approximately three years loading salt barrels at a dock. He then returned to Streeter, West Virginia when he was twenty-seven years old and married twenty-five year old Nancy Katherine Harvey (4/13/1852-2/15/1929), daughter of Jacob Harvey (born in Monroe County)and Martha V. Comer Harvey. William and Nancy were married in Mercer County on January 17, 1877 by Elias Reed.
William and Nancy settled at Streeter in what was then Monroe County where he bought property and built a house. He was a pruner of apple trees and a mail carrier. He would pick up the mail in Hinton, place it in bags on a horse, and lead the horse to Streeter, to Jumping Branch, to Camp Creek, and to Flat Top in Mercer County. He was reportedly afraid of horses and mules and did not ride them. He worked as a tree pruner all of his life and as a mail carrier for twenty-two years. He would never ride the horse but always led it. He was known for a precise, curt speech and impeccable manners.
The Russells had five children. Their names were Susan Amanda R. (12/9/1879- ) who married Augustus Pack, Mary Emma Katharine R. (6/18/1881-7/1/1934) who married Richard "Tich" Pack (_____/1878-2/24/1952) (twin of Augustus), Overton Henderson R. (4/28/1886-8/31/1965) who married Bessie May Harvey, Henry Frederick R. (7/5/1889- 8/19/1974) who married Anna Pack ( - 6/8/1912)then Georgia Ellen Duncan (9/21/1900-8/26/1939)then Beulah Farley, and Grace Elizabeth R (2/18/1893- ) who married Hartley Dunbar.
William died of Brights disease on April 19, 1925 at Ghent, Raleigh County, West Virginia. Nancy died of a stroke and cerebral hemorrhage on February 15, 1929 at Bellepoint. She had been living with Richard and Mary Pack on Powleys Creek near Talcott in Summers County when she died. There was snow and ice on the ground so Richard had to put her body on a sled and take it off the mountain (according to Bertie R. Lowe, Richard and Mary's daughter).
Of all the children, only Fred stayed to rear his family in Mercer County. Fred also helped take care of his parents in their old age and, at their deaths, had them buried in the Harvey-Pack Cemetery at Streeter.
Some of the above information was provided by Janice Stovall Russell Bell, second wife of Fred Russell, Jr.
Overton (Obe) Henderson Russell was the third of five children born to William Henry Russell and Nancy (Harvey) Russell on April 28, 1886 in Streeter, Summers County, WV. His siblings were Susan Amana R. who married Augustus Pack, Mary Emma Katharine R. who married Richard Pack, Henry Frederick R. who married Anna Pack, and Grace Elizabeth R. who married Hartley Dunbar. Obe's life occupation was timberman, woodsman, and farmer. He was an excellent fiddle player and banjo player, and when he was younger he often played for square dances. He loved to "seng" and hunt and always had at least one "coon" hound. He was also an excellent swimmer and diver, and often swam with his sons in the "Big Blue Hole" in Little Bluestone Creek and in the "Old Mill Hole" on Pinch Creek which was over the hill from Clifford and Mona Fox's house. Although his father was well educated in England, Obe could read only a little.
He lived for a while in the Thomas Place on White Oak Creek at Jumping Branch in Summers County where most of his children were born. He then moved to the Brammer place at Streeter near the mouth of Little Bluestone around 1933. Obe and George Brammer had a moonshine still and sold their brew. After getting caught by police, Obe then moved to White Oak Mountain on the Lonnie Harvey Farm in Raleigh County near Shady Springs. In about 1935 he moved to Bragg in Raleigh County. He built his first house (log house) on Meador Branch at New, Raleigh County. Because the children had too far to walk to school, Obe then constructed a "slab" house approximately one-half mile north of Cloverdale Road (Raleigh County Route 27/10). When he was about 75 years old he moved to Marfrance in Greenbrier County where he later died on August 31, 1965. He loved the woods and died there while pulling a log home for firewood. He is buried with his wife in Wallace Memorial Cemetery along US 60 at Rupert in Greenbrier County.
Obe met and married Bessie May Harvey of Summers County. She was born at Jumping Branch in Summers County on May 24, 1898, and died in Quinwood, Greenbrier County on March 23, 1981. Her mother was Mary Alice Harvey, her maternal grandfather was Jasper Newton Harvey, and her maternal grandmother was Arnetta Julina Ferguson. Her father was William A. Bennett. Her siblings were Jennie H. who married Charlie Ratliff, James H. who married Kathleen ______ from Richwood and William H.
Obe and Bessie's children are Hezzie May R. who married Charette S. Crawford, Mary Catherine R. who married Basil Hubert Richmond, Armanda Belle R. who married William Yancey then Robert Allen, John Howard R. who married Maxine Elizabeth Fox then Merlie Bailey, William Allen R. who married Mercedes Ellen Fox, Norma Texas R. who married Herbert Carl Bennett, Holbert Simon R. who married Billie Jean Redden, Vera Juanita R. who married George Howard Mize, Jr. then Elmer Kliewer, Arnold Huling R. who married Deanna Lee Dimola, Patricia Ruth R. who married Ray Whittaker, Ora Nadine R. who married Joseph Bragg then Bernard Baker then Bob Coleman, Lois Radine R. who died while young, Dicye Faye R. who married Charles Edward Miller, Icye Gaye R. who married Larry Capuano, Bessie Hilda R. who married James Pritt, and Myrtle Louise R. who married Alvin Paul Bennett. A total of 85 grandchildren were the offspring of this family.
John Howard Russell December 24, 1919 - May 3, 1999
John Howard Russell was the oldest son of Overton Henderson (Obe) Russell and Bessie Mae Harvey Russell. He was born December 24, 1919 at Streeter in Summers County and his family moved several times in the Streeter area while he was young. John tired of moving and talked his father into finding property and building a house. His family finally settled in the Abraham area of Raleigh County where they built a log house on homesteaded property. While John was still at home, his family moved once again to a farm in Abraham which they leased. His father Obe was a farmer and woodsman while his mother was a housewife. John loved his father and liked doing things with him. John often helped his father work the large garden and corn field to provide for the family and for their animals. He also enjoyed helping his father cut firewood, look for ginseng and hunt raccoon. John had 12 sisters and three brothers, and because of the large family living in a rural area he was able to attend school only through the sixth grade. Although he wanted to attend school, he had to quit to help support his family. Later, when he had children of his own, he insisted that each get an education.
At about 19 years of age, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC's) and worked on public works projects in Nevada for approximately two years. He was in the 2597th Company of the CCC's stationed in Delmues Camp G-19 in Pioche Nevada. His name and picture show up on photographs taken of Camp Delmues on May 25, 1939 and November 25, 1939. The CCC's paid the workers $30 per month, giving them $5 to spend, and requiring that the remaining $25 be sent home to their parents. The $25 per month likely was a big help to Obe Russell's large family during the years between the Great Depression and World War II. John had fond memories of his time in Nevada. John received his draft notice probably early in 1942 and was inducted into the United States Army on May 21, 1942 at Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Likely, because of John's experience working in the CCC's, he was classified as a Private First Class with his specialty being a Carpenter General 050, and being assigned to the 682nd Port Company. He spent most of his Army duty loading supply ships for the troops fighting in World War II. He spent time in military campaigns in Sicily, Naples, Foggia, Rome, and Arno all in Italy where he learned a little of the Italian language. John's discharge papers indicate he was 5' 7" tall and weighed 140 pounds when he was in the army. John received an honorable discharge from the US Army at Fort George G. Meade in Maryland on November 1, 1945.
While he was in the US Army stationed at Fort Dix in Trenton, New Jersey, John married Maxine Elizabeth Fox who lived about a mile from his parent's house at Abraham and whom he had dated before going into the Army. Maxine was the oldest child of Clifford Wheeler Fox. and Mona Pearl Garten Fox. They were married on August 11, 1942 by Army Chaplain Joseph R. Newton at the Post Chapel at Fort Dix, New Jersey. After getting married, Maxine returned home until John was discharged from the Army.
John soon a job at Armco Steel Corporation's "Scratch Back" mine at Montcoal in Raleigh County, mining and loading coal manually. His brother William and his father in law Clifford Fox also began working there. In about 1955 the mines became mechanized resulting in substantial layoffs at the Armco mine. John then went to Cleveland where he got a job in the fender section of General Motors. He worked at General Motors until about 1958 when he was called back to work for Armco Steel's Number 7 Mine at Montcoal. He worked there mostly as a bolt machine operator until his retirement in about 1978.
John and Maxine lived at first in a four room coal company house at Montcoal on the hill across from Marsh Fork High School and Montcoal Elementary School. Their three oldest children Roger (1947), Donnie (1948), and Sandra (1951) were born in that house. After starting to school, the Russell children, along with other children walked across an old swinging bridge to the elementary school. In about 1957 the Russells moved to a house near the west end of Upper Stickney, Raleigh County. They had two additional children while living at Stickney - Johnny (1957) and Shelia (1959). In about 1961 they moved to a house near the east end of Upper Stickney where they lived until their children were grown and until their death. John did extensive remodeling to the old four room company house in the east end, initially adding another bedroom, enclosing the porch at the west end, building an inside toilet and eventually enclosing the easternmost porch to extend the living room. John also constructed a shop and cellar in the late 1970's and a car port in the 1990's. After the next door neighbors moved out of the house on the north side, it was torn down with the Russells getting half of the yard and Lee Tucker getting the other half.
John had a very inquisitive mind and was frequently tinkering with wood or metal. He made a small working, water powered mill when he was only a teenager. He also made his own toys. Growing up in a rural area, hunting, ginsenging, and the ways of the woods were very important to him. He was an avid hunter and fisherman most of his life. He also loved to read and learn, especially about nature. He nearly read through a set of World Book Encyclopedias that he had purchased while his children were young. Over the years he accumulated a rather extensive library of mostly Biblical reference books, most of which he studied thoroughly. John also loved his garden and his trees. Every year he raised a very large garden which had more than enough produce to supply himself, his children and the neighbors. He loved to graft fruit trees and had apple trees growing all over the hillside around his garden.
Maxine passed away at Raleigh General Hospital on Tuesday, April 3, 1984 as a result of a heart attack. Her funeral was held at Stickney Community Church on Friday, April 6 with the Reverend Willie August and the Reverend Earnest Rowe officiating. She was buried at Adkins Cemetery in Naoma, Raleigh County.
After Maxine's death John became very lonely, and later that year began seeing other women. On March 10,1985 John married Merlie Bailey James, the widow of Lester James, with whom John had worked in the mines at Montcoal, several years before. Merlie, the second oldest child of Arnold and Esther Cook Bailey was a devout Christian and she and John had much in common.
John indicated that he had accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior while he was a teen. However, he drifted away from the church and never attended until he repented and got right with the Lord Jesus Christ in the mid 1970's. He then began to faithfully attend the Stickney Community Church with his wife Maxine. He loved to study the Bible, often spending hours reading and studying it. Soon he began to teach the adult men Sunday School class at the Stickney Community Church. He faithfully taught the class until 1998. John became very knowledgeable and fervent in his Christian faith and was convinced of the certainty that once a person accepted Christ as Savior he was saved for eternity.
In October 1997 John was diagnosed as having cancer of the colon. In preparation for the surgery, the doctors also discovered that he had some blockage of the arteries to his heart. In November 1997 he had open heart surgery at Charleston Area Medical Center, Memorial Division. In December 1997 he had surgery at Appalachian Regional Hospital to remove the lower part of his colon and had to begin wearing a colostomy bag. Then he began months of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. In December 1998 he had surgery to remove his colostomy bag. In January 1999 he had surgery to remove a skin cancer from his nose. The cancer in his colon appeared to be under control until March 1999 when he began getting weak. He went into Appalachian Regional Hospital on April 27 and became progressively weaker. He roused enough on May 2 to preach a one hour charge to Merlie and to his children who were gathered around his bed.
He then lapsed into a coma and died May 3, 1999 in Appalachian Regional Hospital in Beckley. His funeral service was held at Armstrong Funeral Home in Whitesville with the Reverend Ernest Rowe, one of John's favorite pastors, officiating. John is interred in the Adkins cemetery at Naoma, Raleigh County beside his first wife Maxine.