Spradlin-Music Family History and Genealogy
By Dr. Roy A. Chessmore


Most of the information on the early Spradlin and Music families was provided by Charles Spradlin, the son of "Buck" and Jo Spradlin; by Alice Cox, the daughter of Sam and May Spradlin; and from tape recordings, made in interviews with Ruth Spradlin, Susie Wilmeth, and Josephine Lowrance. This information was compiled and written by me, Dr. Roy A. Chessmore, and my wife, Josephine Spradlin Chessmore, who is the daughter of Arch and Ruth Spradlin. Margaret Spradlin Alexander, also the daughter of Arch and Ruth, and her husband, Jack, assisted me in the reviewing, writing, and typing of this history and genealogy.

You will notice that I have recorded some of the genealogy and history of the husbands and wives of the Spradlin and Music families. Several of these expressed the desire to have part of their own family history and genealogy recorded with the rest of the family. Since I am one of these "in-laws", I readily agreed to comply with their wishes, as best I could.

The genealogy of the early Spradlin and Music families (see the genealogy section) is incomplete and some of the birth dates of individuals have been calculated from the available materials. I am sure that later research will answer many of these questions that cannot be answered now. The more recent information on the Rev. Samuel and Nancy Margaret Spradlin families has been supplied by the above, plus that from living relatives. Much of it is from memory and may vary from family to family. I have attempted to be as accurate as possible in recording this information, but I am sure that mistakes have been made which can be corrected by each individual family. I will be glad to receive and record any corrections that you may have.

In this history and genealogy of the Spradlin, Music, and Bradford families, you will notice that it includes more from the more recent families, especially from the children of Arch and Ruth and their families. The first intent of this recording was about these families, since I am married to Josephine, the daughter of Arch and Ruth. It gradually expanded to include information on the children of Rev. Samuel and Nancy Margaret Spradlin, and then to the early Spradlin and Music family history and genealogy, due largely to the information provided by Charles and Alice. Although it has taken many hours to research and record this material, it has been a real personal challenge for me to make it as accurate and interesting as possible with the available material sent to me by living relatives, and that recorded by past family members.

I sincerely hope that you will record your own family history. (Record it on the back of these pages.) It is my wish that you (and future generations) will enjoy the results of this unified effort by all of the family members who contributed to the family history and genealogy (before it was too late), so that it will be preserved for future generations.

I would like to mention one aspect of this recording that has been rather confusing. Some members of the Music families have changed the spelling of their name from "Musick" to "Music". It appears that this happened about the time of the Civil War when both Virginia and Kentucky were border states, and some family members fought on different sides. This was fairly common in many of the border states.

I would like to include a brief description of the areas of Virginia and Kentucky where our ancestors were born, married, and raised their families. I believe that this will make us appreciate the fact that these people were real pioneers. Their survival under very difficult conditions will show us that they had the moral, spiritual, and physical strength to meet and solve most of their problems during that difficult time in history. It is also amazing to me to see that both the Spradlin and Music families followed about the same route in their migration from one place to another in Virginia, Kentucky, and even to Oklahoma.

Our "pilgrim" fathers came From England to Jamestown, Virginia, on May 13, 1607. In spite of Indian and food problems, Captain John Smith kept the colony alive. Virginia was one of the original thirteen states and was the tenth state to ratify the U. S. Constitution in 1788. Spotsylvania County was the first county inland from the Atlantic coast to be organized. Spotsylvania County was named after the English governor, Alexander Spotswood, who was governor from 1710-1722. It was also the site of one of the main Civil War battles.

George Music, Sr. was born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, in 1700, and left a will that was probated in 1754. He was granted 300 acres of land by the King Or England on September 8, 1728. George Music, Jr. was listed on a deed dated February 13, 1775.

The Presbyterian Church came to Virginia in the 1730's and 1740's. The Baptist Church followed in 1750, and both grew rapidly because of the need of the pioneers for a religious background during those trying times.

All of this happened before Virginia became a state.

It appears that the Musick families migrated west to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Albemarle County, located in north central Virginia. Ephraim, Sr. and Ephraim, Jr. were born there while John Wesley "Wes" Musick, the "Granddaddy" of two of the Music lines, was born in Madison County, Just north of there. John "Wes" later moved to Surrey County, North Carolina, and then on to Washington County, Virginia, where most of his children were born. Later he moved to East Point, Kentucky, about 10 miles north of Prestonsburg where he died.

Kentucky, known as "the Bluegrass State", became the fifteenth state on June 1, 1792. Floyd and Johnson Counties are located near the eastern border. The Big Sandy River runs north through that area and empties into the Ohio River. Most of the Spradlin and Music families lived near the Big Sandy River, west of the Appalachian Mountains, and north of the Cumberland Mountains.

In 1755, John Finley, a Virginia fur trader, visited eastern Kentucky and described it to Daniel Boone during the French and Indian War. In 1767, Boone explored it and supposedly "got lost" because of the wild, rough, wooded hills and valleys. In 1769, he and Finley visited the Kentucky mountains again for a long hunt. Boone liked it, and, for two years, wandered in the region---most of the time with only his flintlock rifle and hunting knife.

The mountains of Eastern Kentucky were covered with hardwood forests and contained many wild animals such as red and gray fox, raccoon, opossum, deer, and (at one time) the mountain lion (or puma), and wild elk. There were also wild turkeys, ducks, and geese.

Pioneer life in Kentucky was not easy. The pioneers traveled by covered wagons pulled by horses or oxen, by boat, by horseback, or just walked from one place to another. Most of them were farmers or hunters. They raised food crops, hogs and cattle, and most had a large garden. Their clothes were made of homespun wool or buckskin. They hand washed their clothes in the creek or in iron pots or tubs. Children were usually born with only mid-wives in attendance, and all of the children helped the family make a living. The medicines were usually home remedies made from plants, including the famous sassafras tea that they used as a tonic in the spring and castor oil that most of us remember. The children were educated at home or at small schools, and studied only the basic subjects such as arithmetic, reading, and writing. It was a real accomplishment to learn to read and write.

Most pioneers were very religious and met at homes or at small churches for Sunday services. They had "circuit rider" preachers, like Grandpa Spradlin, who preached at ten to twenty churches each month. Their recreation consisted mostly of visiting neighbors and relatives, going to community meetings, and hunting and fishing. The streams were filled with fish, and the forests contained maple trees for syrup, and many wild fruits and berries. Wild flowers, such as azaleas and rhododendrons were plentiful.

The more we find out about how our pioneer ancestors lived, the more we should respect them and their strong pioneer spirit, their religious convictions, and their high family morals, where only a handshake was as strong as a written contract. We all could really profit by learning more about their pioneer life in Virginia, Kentucky, and Oklahoma.


Most of the early Spradlin history was provided by Alice Cox and Charles Spradlin. Charles believes that the early Spradlin families came from England about 1700, well before the American Revolution. Some of the early Spradlin in-laws came from Wales and Scotland.

A. Johnathan (John) Spradlin was probably born about 1740, in Albemarle County, Virginia. He could have been the son of the Spradlins that came to north central Virginia about 1700. The first Musicks that we have records on were born about 1700, in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, located east of Albemarle County. They later moved to Albemarle County, where Ephraim Musick, Jr. was born in 1724.

John Spradlin served in the Revolutionary War with the great French general, Lafayette, in the Albemarle, Virginia Militia. According to the book by the Daughters of the American Revolution on Graves of the Revolutionary war Soldiers Buried in Kentucky, John Spradlin was buried in the Fitzpatrick Cemetery at Middle Creek, west of Prestonsburg. Our records show that he and his family migrated from Albemarle County, Virginia, in central Virginia, to Lee County, in the southwest corner of Virginia, almost due south of Prestonsburg. From there, they moved to East Point, in Johnson County, Kentucky, about 10 miles north of Prestonsburg, where he died in 1850. William Fitzpatrick was his next door neighbor in 1850. Paintsville, Kentucky is about five miles north of East Point, and now has a population of just over 4000. (East Point is not listed on most maps.) The town of Prestonsburg now has just over 3000 population and is the county seat of Floyd County.

John Spradlin married "Polly" Wright, and their children were: William; Edward; Abner; Mary; Benjamin; and Henry. (Note: Henry may have been the son of John's second wife. He was left an orphan at seven years cat age and was indentured to one "Jeremiah Puckett" in 1778. Charles said that this was difficult to understand, especially at this time in history--how this could have taken place, since there were older brothers who could have taken him into their homes.)

B. Henry Spradlin, John's son, was born about 1771, in Albemarle County, Virginia. His son, Nehemiah, was born about 1805, in Lee County, Virginia. Charles Spradlin says that his father "Buck" used to say, "Daddy's grandfather, Nehemiah, came from Virginia and that his great, great grandfather came from England," and that would fit into the Spradlin genealogy that he had researched.

Henry Spradlin married Mary "folly" Martin on August 20, 1797, in Franklin County, in southwest Virginia. Mary was born about 1777, in Franklin County, and died there about 1821. The children of Henry and "Folly" were: Susan, who married John Gay, February 22, 1820; Benjamin, who married Martha Evans (Note: Benjamin was the founder of the Paintsville Methodist Church); Jesse, who married Sally Stone, September 13, 1820; Abraham, who married Sally Evans on August 22, 1820 in a double-wedding ceremony with Benjamin and Martha; Johnathan, who married Margaret Fitzgerald, May 4, 1820 (possibly the daughter of William Fitzgerald); and Nehemiah "Mire", who married Ann Evans, July 19, 1824. It appears that Martha, Sally, and Ann Evans were probably sisters. Their parents were Thomas and Isabella May Evans. Isabella was born in 1784 in Tennessee. (These marriage records were obtained by Alice Cox, from Floyd County marriage records.)

C. Nehemiah "Mire" Spradlin was born in 1805, in Lee County, in southwest Virginia, and died about 1873, in Floyd County, Kentucky. He married his first wife, Ann Evans, July 19, 1824, in Floyd County. Ann's mother, Isabella May, was probably a member of the very large May family. I have a genealogy of the May family that has many Spradlin and Music names in it, but I haven't definitely traced Isabella to any of the family members in the May genealogy. I am sure that this could be done by deeper search in the Spradlin and Music genealogy.

The children of Nehemiah and Ann Spradlin were: Abraham; Isabella, who married Ayres Vaughan, Jr.; Sarah, who married William Blair on March 26, 1845; Johnathan, who married Sarah Ellen Vaughan (the mother of Rev. Samuel Spradlin); Samuel; Thomas, who married Margaret Hackworth; and Margaret.

Nehemiah Spradlin's second wife was Hester Ann Vaughan. They were married April 4, 1846, after the death of Ann Evans. (Note: Hester Ann was the older sister of Sarah Ellen Vaughan, who married Nehemiah's son, Johnathan. Hester's and Sarah Ellen's father and mother were Patrick Henry and Susanna Hatfield Vaughan.) The children of Nehemiah and Hester Ann were: Benjamin; Patrick B.; Susan; James; Ayres, born May 1, 1855; Martha; Ann; and Alma.

The history of the Vaughan family is very interesting. William Patrick Vaughan was born about 1710, in Brecknockshire, Wales. One of his children, Ayres T. Vaughan, Sr., was born about 1742, and died in 1842, at 100 years of age in Floyd County, Kentucky. He was one of the first settlers on the Big Sandy River in eastern Kentucky in the early 1790's. Ayres was the "patriarch" of the "Vaughan Clan" in Kentucky and was known as "Grandsire", which in Kentucky dialect, became "Grouncer." It is easy to understand why he was called the "patriarch" of the Vaughan families near Prestonsburg. The children of Ayres T. Vaughan were: Patrick; William W.; Gabriel; Burwell; John; Patrick;Ayres, Jr.; and Robertson.

William W. Vaughan, the son of Ayres T. Vaughan, was born about 1775. He married Jean (Watson ?) on August 17, 1801. One of their children was Patrick Vaughan, born about 1802. He married Susanna Hatfield on August 22, 1819. Her father and mother were Samuel and Martha Hatfield. They were related to the Hatfields of the infamous Hatfield-McCoy feuding families. Susie Wilmeth said that her best friend in Kentucky was a Hatfield and that the Hatfields in Kentucky were Fine people.

The children of Patrick Henry Vaughan and Susanna Hatfield were: Ayres, who married Isabella Spradlin on February 9, 1846; William, who married Rachel Baldwin in January, 1850;Martha, who married Robert Crutaker, July I9, 1851; Susan; Mary: Hester Ann, who married Nehemiah Spradlin on May 31 1851; Patrick, who married Sally Ann Spradlin, May 31, 1854; Henry, who married Mary Turner on July 19, 1851; Elizabeth, who married Edward "Ned" Horn on September 2, 1851; Martin Van Buren; Sarah Ellen, who married Johnathan Spradlin (the son of Nehemiah Spradlin and the father of Rev. Samuel Spradlin) on April 30, 1857;John Jefferson, who married Synetha Alice Hill in 1864.
D. Johnathan Spradlin was born in 1833. He married Sarah Ellen Vaughan, the daughter of Patrick Henry and Susanna Hatfield Vaughan. Their children were: Nehemiah (also called "Mire"), born March 1, 1858; Patrick Henry, born August 9, 1859, died in 1904; Annah, born in 1861, married Prewitt; Samuel, born April 16, 1863, died October 9, 1956, married Nancy Margaret Music, March 19, 1886; Martin Van Buren, born in 1865, died in 1890; Susan, born in 1891, married to Strickland; William Van Buren, born in 1872, (possibly the grandfather of the San Diego, California Spradlins); Frank, born in 1873, died in October, 1893; Ellen, born in 1875, died March 18, 1898; Sarah, born in 1878; Johnathan who married Julie Levi. Their children were: Willie, born in 1896, who married Eunice Music; Maggie, born in October, 1898, who married Collins; and Bessie, born in October, 1899; Mollie L.(Johnathan's last daughter) born September, 1882.

Rev. Samuel and Nancy Margaret lived near the Johnathan Spradlin and Archibald Gobel Music families in Kentucky. It appears that both the Spradlins and Musics had coal mines on their farms, and many of the family members worked there.