Person:Francis Cyphers (1)

Francis Cyphers
b.bef. c1728
d.aft. 1800
Facts and Events
Name Francis Cyphers
Gender Male
Birth? bef. c1728
Death? aft. 1800


Sifers Tapestry
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New River SWVP Cumberland Carolina Cradle
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Notebook. Francis Cyphers in New River Settlements
Person:John Sifers (1)


Francis Cyphers first appears in records of the New River Settlements in 1748, when he is recorded as purchasing items in the estate sale of Frederick Smith. Subsequent land records show him acquiring land in the upper reaches of the North Fork of the Roanoke River.

Image:Kegley's discussion of Capt. Preston's troop movements in 1756.jpg
From FB Kegley, 1938 "Virginia Frontier" at Google Books

Records for Francis Cyphers show him owning property (1751-1790's) on the North Fork of the Roanoke River. His homesite was in the upper reaches of the NFR, immediately downstream of McDonalds Mill, and about 15 miles east of Fort George (near Salem, VA), about 15 miles northeast of the home of Richard Hall at the head spring of Meadow Creek. This description fits reasonably well with the location of the red hex in athe accompanying map. [1]

Land records show that he acquired his NFR property in 1753, and was presumably on this property for a year or so prior to its formal acquisition. Source:Kegley, 1938 tells us that

Francis Cypers and the McDonalds at the head of North Fork purchased their lands from James Patton as representative of the old James River and Roanoke Company, or by Purchase from individuals and entry of new land. Cyphers took possession of his land (400 acres) in 1753 and lived on it about forty years before a title was received. In the meantime (1766) he sold the land to Benj. Paulson and Frederick Smith who divided it by an accepted line.

Apparently, Francis owned multiple parcels as Source:Kegley, 1938:588 cites a land sale of 200 acres to Frederick Smyth in 1799. [2]

Other than these land puchases and sales, our records for Francis on the NFR are quite sparse.


  1. Some of the land records for him show his property on "Goose Creek"; while there is a modern creek in the area by this name, (southeast of Roanoke), historical records clearly place him in the headwaters of the North Fork of Roanoke near the modern Montgomery County line. It appears that "Goose Creek" was a very early name for what was later called the North Fork of the Roanoke.
  2. Source:Summers, 1929:940 places this transaction in 1800: noting that Francis "Sells Frederick Smyth 200 ac n. Fork Roanoke river, formerly called Goose.