Facts and Events
||Augusta County, Virginia[now Rockbridge County]
to Margaret (Peggy) Moore
||Augusta (now Rockbridge), Virginiaon Looney's Creek
||Abbs Valley, Tazewell, Virginia, United StatesAbb's Valley is named after him
||Meadow Creek, Craig County VA"EARLY LOONEYS IN AMERICA" by Leroy W. Tilton Part 4
||28 September 1791
||Botetourt County, Virginia[Will Dated]
||bef. June 1796
||Botetourt County, Virginia[Will Probated]
||abt Jun 1796
||Bluefield, Botetourt, Virginia, United Stateskilled by Indians Citation needed
Absalom Looney was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
- Looney, Absaolum.... Will probated June 1796.
- Names children: Michael, Elizabeth Potts, Peter, Mary Swanson, Margaret Caldwell, Jonathan, Absolum, Ruth, Ann Harberson, Catherine, Pricilla Caldwell and Benjamin.
- [Source: Early Marriages, Wills and some Revolutionary War Records, Botetourt County, Virginia, Compiled by Anne Lowry Worrell, pg. 59].
Records in Augusta County, VA
- Vol. 1 - AUGUST, 1764 (B). - Looney vs. Looney.--11th May, 1764. John Smith's deposition. He was present when the proposals were made that Robert Looney and wife desired to have confirmed. Some time after Colonel Buchanan was sent for to draw the articles, and Buchanan's statements are punctually true. The articles were lodged with deponent. Shortly afterwards defendant and wife made a demand of Peter Looney (now deceased) and David Looney of the house and land. Peter Looney immediately answered (which David agreed to), "choose the spot for the house and it shall be built, and show the land, and Colonel Buchanan and Colonel Smith shall lay it off." They insisted to have land over the creek, but Peter and David refused because it was contrary to the agreement. Then Robert and wife made a second demand of David Looney. The old woman said she chose to have the land in the orchard, which he agreed to, and further said if they chose to have the house where his barn stood, he would remove the barn. The widow Looney sent off for cattle to winter in consequence of the bargain. The first winter after the bargain David Looney wintered Robert Looney's cattle, and deponent several times saw David drawing firewood to the said Robert, and he saw widow Looney send a hand to cut wood for him. Sworn to before William Preston, Isiah Christian, Benjamin Hawkins. William Lawderdeal says that the second winter after the above agreement, Margaret, the relict of Peter Looney, deceased, sent him to Robert Looney to get and drive what cattle fell to her share to winter, according to the agreement. Robert sent one cow. Thomas Ramsey deposes that Robert Looney was intoxicated with liquor when the articles were written, but was perfectly in his senses when they were signed. John Buchanan deposes plaintiffs are Peter and David Looney, defendants are Robert Looney and John Bowyer. There were proposals between defendants and plaintiffs about the making over his land to them, which bargain was afterwards concluded and deponent was sent for to draw the articles. Both parties repeated to him all particulars of the agreement, which he wrote down. Defendant Robert was drinking spirituous liquors too freely so that he lay down to sleep before writing was concluded. Deponent too(k) the articles home and after some time returned and found Robert awake and in his perfect senses. All executed. Part of the land belonged at that time to Absalom Looney. Deponent mentioned this to Robert, who said that Absalom had ordered his land to be sold, that he would buy it and throw it in with his other land and make it over to plaintiffs. Robert told deponent on Absalom's return from Carolina that he had paid Absalom £10 and he was well pleased with what Robert had done. The agreement was that the plaintiffs were to lay off five acres for defendant anywhere he chose on the premises, a certain rent to be paid yearly.
- Vol. 1 - MAY, 1765 (C). - Looney vs. Looney.--Margaret Looney, an infant (only child), daughter and heiress of Daniel Looney (or David?), deceased. Bill filed September, 1763. Daniel was son of Robert Looney. Robert also had a son, Absalom.
- Vol. 1 - MAY, 1765 (C). - Looney vs. Looney.--Chancery, Col. John Smith deposes that in 1753 or 1754 Robert Looney sent for his son, Absalom, to come from Blue Stone to James River with his family. That before he came in Robert Looney proposed to his son Daniel that he would give him (Daniel) the land over the Creek for his land in the Draft to settle his son Absalom on, to which Daniel agreed, and when Absalom came in he settled on the land and Daniel Looney took possession of the land over the Creek. That some time afterwards Daniel Looney made the said Absalom a title to the same. That Daniel never got any title from his father that the deponent knows of, though he often afterwards heard the said Robert Looney acknowledge the bargain, and that when the said Robert Looney made over his other lands to his sons, he excepted and reserved the land over the Creek for his son Daniel. Col. John Buchanan deposes: Of the original agreement he knows nothing, but that in 1755 Daniel Looney was in possession of the land over the creek, and that Robert often told deponent he had given his son Daniel the land over the creek in lieu of the land in the draft whereon Absalom Looney then lived, and that Daniel Looney repeatedly told deponent the same thing. That when Daniel was on his death bed he sent for deponent, and, among other things, it was mentioned that the land whereon he then lived was his, and the said Daniel then desired that after his death it might descend to his daughter, which his father, Robert Looney, said nothing against, though he was present.
Absalom is sometimes identified as having been born on the Isle of Mann. The basis for this is not known [to me at least]. Virginia Land Grant records show that he had a 50 acre parcel surveyed on what is now called "Meadow Creek", in 1767 in what is now Sinking Creek Valley in Craig County. Since this was the beginning of the French and Indian War, with many of the early settlers fleeing the southwestern Virginia area, it seems likely that he at least temporarily left the area. He probably returned in the early 1760's as the threat of Indian attack decreased. He is shown living in John Reynolds District in the 1785 Virginia census. John Reynolds lived in Sinking Creek Valley, which include the area drained by Meadow Creek. In anycase, at his death Absolom was probably living in the Meadow Creek portion of Sinking Creek Valley. The basis for him dying in Blue Field, in what is now West Virginia, is unknown.
Looney's wife is commonly identified as "Margaret Moore" who is supposed to be a kinswoman of James Moore=Jane Walker, Jane being the daughter of John Walker=Katherine Rutherford of the wall known Wigton Walker line. It was kinsman Absolom Looney who according to some accounts steered the Moors to Abs Valley about 1767. Looney is supposedly the discover of Abs Valley during a hunting expedition, or while searching for ginseng, a much in demand, equally valuable, commodity (which is a lot lighter to carry!).
From "A History of The Middle New River Settlements and Contiguous Territory", by David E. Johnston (1906):
- An adventurer by the name of Absalom Looney in 1771 left his home on Looney's Creek, now in the Rockbridge Country, and came over the Alleghanies and explored the upper Bluestone country, particularly a beautiful valley now in Tazewell County, Virginia, and which in part bears the name of its discoverer, being called "Abb's Valley." Looney remained in this valley and adjacent territory for two or three years, and had for his refuge and hiding place from the savages and wild beasts a cave or rather an opening in the limestone rocks, for it was not deep under ground. This hiding place was pointed out to the author by William T. Moore, Esq., whose grandfather settled nearby in 1777. The cave referred to is a few yards south of the spot whereon now stands Moore's Memorial Methodist Church. On Looney's return to his home he gave such glowing description of this valley that one of his neighbors, Captain James Moore, was induced to make a journey to see it. He came in 1776 or 1777 alone, from his home with no companions nor weapons, save his rifle gun, tomahawk and butcher knife, the hunter's usual weapons of offense and defense. Looney had furnished him such a description of the valley as to enable him to find the way without difficulty.
When Absolom wrote his will in 1791 he was apparently living in Botetourt County, as that is where his will was entered into probate in 1796. The will was witnessed by Daniel Givens who is otherwise known to have been living on Meadow Creek a few miles southwest of New Castle, in what was then Botetourt County, but is now Craig County. Givens was a a near neighbor of Absolom. Shortly (December of 1791) after writing his will Absolom sold a parcel of land on Craigs Creek to this same Daniel Givens. Meadow Creek is a tributary of Craigs Creek. Land on Meadow Creek was often described in early land records as "in the waters of Craigs Creek". While the entire Valley is usually referred to as "Sinking Creek Valley", Sinking Creek actually flows south into the New River, while Craigs Creek flows north into the James. The Valley is thus subdivided into northern and southern ends separated by the "Great Eastern Divide".
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Absalom Looney, in Johnston, David E. (David Emmons). A history of middle New River settlements and contiguous territory. (Huntington).
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Historical Highway Markers - [enter XP-5], in Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
XP-5 ABB'S VALLEY
Five miles southwest is Abb’s Valley, discovered by Absalom Looney. James Moore and Robert Poage were the first settlers, about 1770. In July, 1786, Shawnee Indians raided the valley, killing or carrying into captivity the Moore family. Mary (Polly) Moore, Martha Evans and James Moore (captured earlier) finally returned. They are known as “The Captives of Abb’s Valley.” Virginia Conservation Commission 1939
(Location: Lon (X): -81.33424 Lat (Y): 37.30928 ; on Rt. 102, just east of Pocahontas)