The Bible record of John Keiter (1784-1870) was discovered in the personal estate of Miss June Wolford, a descendant who lived in Romney, West Virginia. Miss Wolford left no descendants and apparently made no provisions for the record to be preserved in an archives or historical society. The Administrators presented me with a copy of the Bible record at the public sale of her personal estate in Romney, West Virginia on April 12, 1986.

John Keiter was the oldest child of George and Esther (Buzzard) Keiter. He was twice-married, with one child by the first wife and eight children by the second wife. Apparently Keiter's first wife died of complications of childbirth.

John Keiter did not remarry until daughter Esther reached adulthood, and married in 1838 to John L. Templer. Keiter remained a widower for about twenty years; then remarried in 1838 to Emily Coe, who was 28 years his junior. They had eight children. When baby Theodore Keiter was born in 1857, his father John was seventy-three years old. Ironically, when John Keiter died on May 24, 1870, his wife Emily died seven hours later, according to a notation in the Bible record. Both were buried in the same grave in the old Gaddis cemetery at Bloomery, WV..

JOHN KEITER's children were:

a) ESTHER KEITER was born on December 23, 1817. She married JOHN L. TEMPLER in Hampshire County on March 29, 1838. He was born on January 19, 1809, and died on December 23, 1876, at Smokey Hollow. (Note: Esther was the only child by John Keiter's first marriage to Sarah Beale.) Buried in the old Gaddis graveyard with John L. Templer was his father, WILLIAM TEMPLER. The tombstone inscription showed William's birthdate to be December 29, 1775 and his deathdate as October 24, 1854. It is presumed that William Templer came (probably from Fauquier or Loudoun County, Virginia) to live with his son John L. Templer; that he died while visiting; and was buried in Smokey Hollow for convenience to his son John L. Templer.

b) GEORGE WILLIAM KEITER was born on October 8, 1838 and died on May 10, 1842. His grave is in the Gaddis graveyard. (Note: George W. was a son of John Keiter's second marriage to Emily Coe, as were all children named hereafter.)

c) JOHN COE KEITER, was born on September 15, 1841. He married MARY E. HAMMACK on October 13, 1870.

d) SAMUEL EDWARD KEITER was born on August 25, 1843 and died on June 23, 1844. His grave is in the Gaddis graveyard.

e) SARAH ELIZABETH KEITER was born on October 24, 1845 and died on June 22, 1851. Her tombstone has been destroyed in the Gaddis graveyard. With knowledge of the Bible record, loose fragments of slate were pieced together to match the vital record.

f) SUSAN MARIE KEITER was born on February 1, 1848 and died on October 28, 1848. Her grave is in the Gaddis graveyard.

g) ROBERT GUYER KEITER was born on August 14, 1851. He married (Edmonia M. Hammeck ?) in August 1875.

h) MARY EMILY KEITER was born on March 2, 1853 and died on April 9, 1862. She was buried in the old Gaddis graveyard.

i) FREDERICK THEODORE KEITER was born on July 12, 1857. He married LUCINDA CLARK on April 6, 1882. The John Keiter family Bible passed down through Frederick T. to his daughter Dollie Elizabeth Keiter who married Ray W. Wolford (1894-1966). Ray W. Wolford lived at Capon Bridge and served as the Director of Public Welfare for almost thirty years in Hampshire County. He was the father of Miss June Wolford, last owner of the John Keiter Bible record.

Wilmer L. Kerns
4715 North 38th Place
Arlington, VA 22207-2914