From the Swiss Alps to the Appalachian Mountains

The Furrow surname was originally FURRER. We are of Swiss origin and our ancestors lived in the area of Lucerne, Switzerland.  In Swiss Archives, Washington D.C., it is on record that in May of 1743, Heinrich Furrer, my GGGGGGG Grandfather, age 52, made arrangements in Zurich, Switzerland forgoing to America for all of his family. His wife, Susannna Baumann, age 51, and six of their seven children, (Felix, age 23, Hans (Johannes) Jacob, (my GGGGGG grandfather ), age 21, Susanna, age 19, Hans Felix, age 14, Anna Maria, age 12, and Barbara, age 8) accompanied them. Their oldest son, Hans, age 23, was in the Dutch army, and chose to remain in Europe, therefore, his descendants are our closest known ancestors in Europe. Heinrich Furrer landed at Charleston, South Carolina about 1743-44, but there is no record of  any of the other members of his family. Upon arrival in Charleston, Heinrich and his family proceeded to a Swiss settlement at Purrysburg, approximately 28 miles north of Savannah, Georgia.

Although we were born 270 years apart, Grandpa Jacob and I were born in two of the most beautiful mountainous regions in the world. He migrated to London, England after 1743. A few years later, he traveled the Atlantic Ocean on the brigantine Sally and landed at Philadelphia on the 17th of October 1750. Grandpa purchased cattle and land in a little place called Hempfield Township. He had several sons, but the one born in 1749 named John (Johannes) was my fifth great grandpa. Now, 248 years separate us!

Grandpa John and his brother, Adam, moved to Loudoun County, Virginia by 1771 while some of my fifth great-uncles stayed and eventually served in the militia in during the Revolutionary War. However, they came to Virginia later. In addition to farming, Grandpa John was also a preacher. In 1810, he took an oath of fidelity of the Commonwealth of Virginia at which time he stated that he was licensed to preach the Gospel according to the rules of the Methodist Society. In 1797,  he moved to Montgomery County where he and his sons owned adjoining  lands about nine miles southwest of Christiansburg at Montgomery-Floyd County line area.  This was only a few years after our county seat, Christiansburg was incorporated.  One of Grandpa John's sons, Charles,  was born in 1773, and he was my fourth great-grandfather.

Like Grandpa Jacob, Grandpa Charles and his brother purchased land and farmed the fertile soils of the valleys within Cedar and Bear Branch of Elliots's Creek to Camp Creek on the Little River.  Montgomery county tax records and the U. S. Census now listed our surname as "Furrow."  Daddy said many people had their last names  misspelled during this era.  Grandpa Charles wed Deborah GRAHAM, of Franklin County, Va. in April 1796.  She gave birth to my third great grandpa, Abraham (Abram), in 1805.

Grandpa Abram grew up in Montgomery County and farmed just as my previous grandpas.  The 1870 Census shows that he and his wife, Mary JEWELL, lived in the Allegheny Township.  My great-great-grandpa, Andrew Jackson, was their last child and was born in 1848.  The link between my sixth great grandpa, Jacob, and myself, is now more than half completed at 126 years!  The arrival of the railroad was just around the corner.

Grandpa Andrew was also raised in Montgomery County.  He married Frances Ann MADDOX  in 1874.  She gave birth to a son in 1885 named Johnson, who was my great-grandfather.  They purchased land on the Old Mudpike, southwest section of Christiansburg, in 1903 and built a home.

Grandpa Johnson married Lucy REMINES in August 1924, and they also lived on the Old Mudpike.  Grandpa Johnson farmed, worked with the railroad, and was also a preacher.

He and Grandma Lucy had three sons and a daughter.  One of their sons was Lilburn Lesco, who was my "Papa,' and he was born in 1931.  Papa also grew up in Montgomery County.  He left home in 1949 but returned shortly after retiring from the U.S. Air Force in 1969.  He married Gloria A. Schaumloffel in 1950 when he was in Texas.  They had three sons and three daughters.  Their first son was Lescoe "Gene," and he was born in Texas in 1955.  He is also my "Daddy"!  Upon completion of 8 years service in the U.S. Marine Corps and 4 years of post education in computer science at LSU, he finally had ME! Now, there is only 37 years to complete my link with Grandpa Jacob!

Can you guess my age?  Now that you know when I was born  you can see why I had my Daddy write this genealogical letter for me.  You can also figure the year Papa Jacob was born.

Although our family lives in Tennessee, we come to Montgomery County often to visit my papas, nana, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Oh, I almost forgot!  My mom, whose maiden name is Wanda Marie EARLES, was also born and raised in Riner, but she won't let me tell you when.  All I know is she has a brother a couple years younger than she, and he was born in 1950.  It's been nice sharing some of our family history with you and we wish everyone the best, and Happy Searching!

Best Wishes,


For more information see:

Gene Furrow
534 Academy Street
Maynardville, TN 37807
Web Page: Furrow Home Page