This family, which settled originally in Pennsylvania, is said to be of Scotch-Irish descent. Two brothers, Charles and William, removed to Frederick County, Virginia, at an early date, the latter being the ancestor of Col. G. A. Porterfield of Charlestown, W. Va., and of numerous other descendants living in the lower Valley. Charles Porterfield had at least four children:
1. Charles Porterfield, Jr., distinguished himself in the War of the Revolution, attaining the rank of Lieut-Colonel, and died from the effects of a wound received at the disastrous battle of Camden. He never married.
2. Eleanor Porterfield married William Heath, Attorney -General of Kentucky, but left no children.
3. Rebecca Porterfield lived with her brother Robert, and died
at an old age unmarried.
4. Robert Porterfield, known as General Porterfield, was also highly distinguished in the Revolutionary Army. His military service, as recorded at the War Department and given in Heitnian's "Historical Register" of the officers of the Continental Army, was as follows:— "2nd Lieut. 11th Va., 24th Dec, i776; 1st Lieut, 1st June 1777; Adjutant, 19th Apr. 1778; transferred to 7th Va, 14th Sep. 1778; Capt. Lieut., 2d July 1779; Capt., 16th Aug. 1779; taken prisoner at Charleston, 12th May, 1780; transferred to 2d Va., 12 Feb, 1781, and served to close of War". He then settled in Augusta County, on Oct. 8th, 1784 purchasing a fine estate below Waynesboro on South River, which he called "Soldiers' Retreat". Here he died Feb. 13, 1843. There is in the possession of Dr. C. P. Kinney of Crossville, 111., an old parchment signed by George Washington, being the certificate of membership of Capt. Robt. Porterfield in the Society of the Cincinnati, an organization instituted by the officers of the American Army at the close of the Revolution. He was at one time Colonel of the state militia, and during the War of 1812 was commissioned
The Porterfield Family. 31
Brigadier General of Virginia Volunteers; hence the title by which he was commonly known. He married Rebecca Farrar, daughter of Peter Farrar of Amelia County, by whom he had four children:
(1). Charles Porterfield; died unmarried.
(2). Mary C. (or Polly^ Porterfield, b. June 10, 1789; d. April ]6, 1852; m. June 18, 1818, Lewis Wayland of Augusta County (b. in 1787; d. Grant County, Ky., Feb. 4, 1857). They left a large family who have removed to Kentucky. Their daughter Rebecca Wayland married Robert H. Kinney; see §8.
(3). John Porterfield married Betsy McCue, a sister of John and Col. Franklin McCue, and had only one child, Robert Porterfield, who married a daughter of John Wayt, and left one son, Robert Porterfield of Lewisburg, W. Va., who married a Miss McClung of Greenbrier County and had several children.
(1). Rebecca Farrar Porterfield, married WiLLiAM Kinney;
The line of descent of Rebecca Farrar, wife of General Robert Porterfield, has not been certainly established in every point, but the following is taken from the sketch of the family given in the "Virginia Magazine of History and Biography":
I. John Farrar of Hertford, England. His son,
II. Nicholas Farrar or Ferrar, merchant of London and member of the Virginia Company, m. Mary Woodnoth.
Their son (?),
III. William Farrar or Ferrar, Member of the Council 1623 to 1633, m. Mrs. Cicely Jordan (?). His son,
IV. William Farrar, Burgess 1659-'60, '61-'76, m. Mary. Their son,
V. Maj . William Farrar, Burgess 1700-'02, m. Priscilla Baugh. Their son,
VI. William Farrar, m. Judith Jefferson, first cousin of Thomas Jefferson. Their son, almost certainly, was —
VII. Peter Farrar, b. June 6, 1730; m. Jan. 17, 1754, Mary Magdalene Chastain (b. Aug. 23, 1827; widow of James Cocke of Malvern Hills, and daughter of Dr. Stephen Chastain, one of the French Huguenots who settled Mannikin Town in Henrico County, who came over, we are told, “in the first ship”, and whose name occurs on the records of Henrico in 1706; his wife’s name was Martha, and she died it was 1725 aged 52. Their sixth child was –
VIII. Rebecca Farrar, b. Dec. 28, 1764; m. Gen. Robert Porterfield...