AN ASSOCIATION OF THE DESCENDANTS OF
REVOLUTIONARY WAR SOLDIER &
PIONEER OF THE TUG RIVER REGION OF
VA, WV & KY
Cline Family Association
Avon Lake, OH
Generation No. 1
Much of the information below was taken from the book, The Clines and Allied Families of the Tug River Region of Kentucky and West Virginia, 1998 Gateway Press by author Cecil Cline in collaboration with Harry Dale Cline. The information from the book is reprinted on this website with Cecil Cline's permission. Additional information was also provided by Harry Dale Cline and early researcher, Professor Marlin G. Cline. An electronic copy of Cecil's book may be accessed by clicking on the link below:
(updated 2/1/2013 as the prior link was broken)
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1. PETER1 CLINE was born Abt. 1756 in Palatinate Region of Germany, and died Abt. 1843 in Logan
County, Virginia. He married ELIZABETH Abt. 1778 in Virginia. (For Peter Cline's Revolutionary War Service, see Revolutionary War Page).
Early Life - From Germany to Pennsylvania
From the documentary evidence and family tradition, Peter was an immigrant from the Palatinate region of Germany.* It is unknown whether Peter emigrated by himself or with his family, but one tradition holds that he married his wife Elizabeth in Germany and that they emigrated together to America. However, there is no evidence to indicate whether Peter married Elizabeth in Germany, Pennsylvania or Virginia. That Peter and Elizabeth's first child, Michael, was born around 1778 would lead to the conclusion that they were married in the Colonies but again, no marriage record has thus far been found.
Some researchers have reported that Peter's wife Elizabeth was a Riffe. However, there is no documentary evidence to support this. See Clines & Allied Families, at 36. In 1820, a marriage bond signed by both Peter and Elizabeth Cline indicates that she used the nickname, "Lizzie." Id. at 36. This is also supported by the testimony of Mose Cline, resident of Gilbert Creek, Mingo County, West Virginia, and great-great grandson of Peter Cline. In 1938, Marlin G. Cline, an early Cline genealogist, interviewed Mose Cline, who was 70 years old at the time. Mose was fortunate to have known his own grandfather, also named Mose Cline, who was a grandson of Peter. Mose stated that Peter and "his wife Lizzy came with him from the old country, but had no children until they came to ... Virginia." Research Notes of Marlin G. Cline, at 3. Mose also stated that Peter could speak only "broken English" [Research Notes, Id.] which is also supported by the 1809 marriage bond for David Mounts and Peter's daughter, Margaret Cline, where Peter signs his name in German Gothic script, and spelled "Pieter Klein." Clines & Allied Families, at 41. Mose also described Peter as a man of "moderate height and weighed 175 pounds" and that Lizzy was rather petite, at "90 pounds." Research Notes, at 3. Of course, while Mose Cline could never have met Peter and Elizabeth Cline, he being born in 1868 and over twenty years after the death of both Peter and Elizabeth, his grandfather Mose, who was born in 1818, would certainly have known and remembered his grandparents and may have described them to his grandson.
It should also be noted that Mose indicated that Peter emigrated from "Holland" at some point prior to the Revolution. Research Notes, Id. While it is undisputed that Peter emigrated to the Colonies prior to the Revolution, there is no evidence to support Peter Cline being of Dutch origin. Moreover, it was common for Germans of the Palatinate region to sail down the Rhine River and debark for America from Holland.
According to Peter's Revolutionary War pension application, he was a resident of Reading Town (Reading), Berks County, Pennsylvania around the time of the Revolution. Thus, it is probable that he arrived in the Colonies through the port of Philadelphia. Berks County had a large German population and it is possible that Peter Cline had relatives here. Berks County tax records list other Cline residents, including a "Michael Cline," who was a shoemaker and resident of Reading Town. However, there is no definite proof connecting Peter Cline to the other Cline residents of Berks County.
Migration to Virginia
After his service in the Continental Army, Peter Cline left Berks County, Pennsylvania for Virginia. His migration to Virginia occurred between the years 1778 and 1786. However, his exact location during this period is unknown. Cecil Cline notes that "there were two Peter Cline's in Shenandoah County [Virginia] in 1785, a family of two and a family of four, and Peter could be the family of four, since he would have had two children by that time, Michael and John." Clines and Allied Families, at pg 35. Cecil Cline further notes that "Abraham Honaker, who married Peter's daughter Sarah, had roots in Dunmore (Shenandoah) County, having been born there in 1774." Id., citing Hans Jacob Honneger, From Switzerland to America, by Nadine W. Larson). It is also important to note that "Abraham and Sarah were living very close to Peter when the 1810 Montgomery County census was taken." Id.
New River Settlement, Montgomery County, Virginia
By the year 1786, Peter and Elizabeth settled in Montgomery County, Virginia, close to the New River near the area of modern Radford. Id. at 35. As noted by Cecil Cline, "the first evidence of Peter's being in Montgomery County was in 1786, when his name appears on a land transaction involving James Addair, which is in the county land records, Book D, pg 356." Id. Cecil Cline further notes that Peter was not on any of the militia rosters of Montgomery County in the early 1780's, indicating that Peter had not yet arrived in Montgomery County until 1786. Id. at 35-36. Peter and Elizabeth remain in Montgomery County for the next twenty-five (25) years until at least 1811. It is here that Peter and Elizabeth raised most of their family to adulthood, except Peter Jr., who would have been eleven or twelve years old at the time of the family's migration to the Tug region.
Peter Cline is listed on many of the records of Montgomery County, Virginia, including court, land and tax records through 1811. For instance, in 1787, Peter Cline filed a lawsuit against James Addair for an account of forty shillings owed which was decided in Peter's favor in October, 1787. Id. at 38-39. In April, 1809, Peter signed a marriage bond in Montgomery County for his daughter Margaret to marry David Mounts. Id. at 41. Peter and sons John and Michael, also appear on the 1810 Montgomery County census. Peter last appears in the Montgomery County records in 1811, the last year his name appears on the tax lists. Id. at 42.
Tug River Region of Kentucky & Virginia
After 1811, Peter Cline migrated with his family to the Virginia/Kentucky border region along the Tug River, eventually settling on a creek reportedly named after him called Peter Creek, which is on the Kentucky side of the Tug River. There is some evidence that Peter had interests in the western region of Virginia by the 1790's and early 1800's. Id. at 42-43. However, there is no evidence that Peter permanently settled in this region until after 1811.
It also appears that his youngest daughter, Margaret and son-in-law David Mounts, were the first of the family to migrate permanently to the Tug region, as David is listed on the Cabell County, VA (WV) tax list of 1810. It is probable that Peter's children were the real impetus for nearly the entire family moving to the Tug region. Youngest daughter Margaret had already moved to the Tug region, and younger sons Jacob, William and Peter were likely eager to obtain inexpensive land of their own which was already hard to find in Montgomery County at that time. Oldest daughter Sarah did not make the move to the Tug region as she had already been married for several years and was more firmly established in the Montgomery/Bland County area. Moreover, her husband, Abraham Honaker, had an already established gunsmith trade.
For Michael, the oldest son, possible financial difficulties in Montgomery County may have been the reason for his relocation to the Tug. In the Montgomery County Superior Court of Law records of 1814, Michael's sister, Sarah, and wife Margaret, were charged with assaulting a constable and recovering two saddles that the constable had taken from Michael for indebtedness to one James Fuller. The court records describe Michael Cline as an "absconding debtor" and Michael likely left the Montgomery County area for the Tug region prior to this incident.
On January 5, 1820, Peter appears in an affidavit for his son Peter, Jr. to be married in Floyd County (later, Pike County), Kentucky. A Peter Cline appears in the Cabell County, Virginia census with one male under 10, another male aged 26-45, one male above 45 and one female above 45. In 1820, Cabell County bordered Kentucky along the Tug River, and encompassed modern day Mingo and Logan counties, so it is possible that this is our Peter Cline. However, the census record states "Barboursville," which is near the Ohio border and there is no evidence that our Peter was ever in that region.
Peter does appear in the 1830 Pike County, Kentucky census and indicates in his 1832 Revolutionary War pension application that he was a resident of Pike County, Kentucky. Peter's son Michael is listed in the 1830 Logan County, Virginia (WV) census with brothers Jacob, William and Peter, Jr. Logan County bordered Pike County across the Tug River. By 1840, Peter is living with his son, Jacob "Rich Jake" Cline, as Peter and wife Elizabeth are enumerated in the household of Jacob in the 1840 Pike County, Kentucky census.
Family tradition holds that Peter Cline died in 1843. He is reportedly buried around Delorme, Mingo County, West Virginia, near Freeburn, Kentucky. The site of the old Peter Cline homestead is long gone.
Children of PETER CLINE and ELIZABETH are:
2. i. MICHAEL2 CLINE, b. Abt. 1778, Virginia; d. 1860, McDowell County, Virginia.
3. ii. JOHN CLINE, b. Abt. 1780.
4. iii. SARAH CLINE, b. Abt. 1785; d. 1865, Bland County, Virginia.
5. iv. JACOB "RICH JAKE" CLINE, b. Abt. 1790, Montgomery County, Virginia; d. 1858, Logan County, Virginia.
6. v. WILLIAM "ALUM BILLY" CLINE, b. Abt. 1792, Montgomery County, Virginia; d. 1868, Logan County, Virginia.
7. vi. MARGARET "PEGGY" CLINE, b. Abt. 1793.
8. vii. DAUGHTER CLINE, b. Abt. 1797.
9. viii. PETER "HECK" CLINE, b. Abt. 1800, Montgomery County, Virginia; d. April 30, 1892, Gilbert Creek, Mingo County, West Virginia.
* While their is strong circumstantial evidence to indicate that Peter was an immigrant from a German-speaking area of Europe, the circumstantial evidence is not as clear that he was from the Palatinate region. Recent correspondence (10/2/2012) from a family member, Lydia Klene, postulates that Peter may be of Dutch origin based upon a comment from Mose Cline in 1938 that Peter was from Holland and from an entry in Lydia's father's Bible that Peter was from Holland. On the other hand, Lydia presented some rather close associations between Peter's family and other immigrants of Swiss origin and postulates that Peter may in fact be from Switzerland. If stronger evidence is presented that Peter was indeed of Dutch or Swiss origin, the Association will make all necessary changes to the website and archives. However, based upon Cecil Cline's research, published works and the historical circumstances involving 18th century immigrants who resided in Berks County, PA, the Association will continue to present Peter Cline as a German immigrant from the Palatinate region of Germany.
Cline Family Association
Avon Lake, OH