Surnames: CASTO, CASTRO, WESTFALL, AUERS, CUNNINGHAM, RAINES, GREATHOUSE, MCDADE, ROLLINS, REYNOLDS, SHAMBLIN, WETHERHOLT, SHINN, KESSEL, WRIGHT, WOODRUFF, CARNEY, PARSONS, RHODES, KNOPP, BORD, MADDOX, SKIDMORE, STAATS, BRADLEY, SKEEN, TOLLEY, DAVISSON, BOLES, KOONTZ, STOUT, SHAW, FOGLESONG, CRAIG, GOODWIN, WINTERS, BARNETT, CRITES, SHEPPARD, HARPOLD, PRINGLE, OURS
This sketch taken from "Pioneers of Jackson County", by John House, it appears in the section
Old family traditions say that two boys were on a Spanish ship captured by the English years ago. All the crew were killed but the two boys, who, so versions say, were brothers. These boys were brought to America and sold as slaves or servants in the colony of New Jersey. The name of one was Casto, and that of the other Castro, or says one account, when set free at twenty one, one assumed the other's name of Casto. If not brothers, the boys had a brother's regard for each other. They became somehow separated and the descendants of the real Casto are next heard of on the Buckhannon River, where David Casto was a pupil in the first school taught in Upshur County.
There was a large colony of the name in the Buckhannon Settlement, and several of them were soldiers in the War of 1812.
Soon after that, some of them emigrated to Jackson County, settling in the valley of Big Mill Creek, above the mouth of Sycamore.
There were three lines, headed by John, William and George, respectively.
Between the mill and the mouth of Tug Fork, on the right side of Mill Creek, George Casto settled in 1816, or near that date. He was sheriff of Jackson County in 1834, and helped to locate the county seat in 1831. He was a Justice of the Peace when Jackson County was organized and for many years after. He was a Methodist, and sometimes preached, was a Whig in politics. He was born in 1781 and died in 1845.
He was a soldier in the second war of Independence (1812) and came to Jackson County from the Buckhannon River, where he was born and raised, after the close of the war.
His first wife was a sister of Stephen Westfall. She dying, he married Sarah, daughter of Godfrey Auers.
There was a Peggy Casto who married Thomas Cunningham, a brother of Joel Cunningham, who was a child of the first marriage.
George Casto, the second son of the last marriage, was a man of porminence in county affairs. He was in the Union Army. He married a daughter of Robert Raines.
Nicholas Casto married Lilletha Casto, daughter of William Casto. The two families were in some way connected, and both came from the valley of the Buckhannon River.
The schoolhouse where Nicholas Casto attended was of poles about twelve by fourteen, without joists, and about as high to the square as a man's head.
Nicholas was a man of intelligence and progress, and lived on Tug Fork. He was captain of Home Guards, member of Legislature, Justice of the Peace, and three times President of Board of Supervisors, also publisher of "Social Songster" Hymn Book.
His son, George N. Casto, long a school teacher and four years a Justice of Washington District, is now serving as deputy sheriff.
Mary Casto married Joel Cunningham, and was living in 1904 with her son Robert, at Clendenin, on the Elk River, at the age of ninety years.
Pheobe Casto married John Greathouse (commonly called Prophet John) and lived on Spring Creek.
George Casto moved from the farm near Thomas's Mill, up on Tug Fork, about one and a quarter miles from Mill Creek, probably about 1831 or 1832, and later to a farm one mile above Staats Mill, where he was residing a the time of his death.
His brother, John, married Susie McDade. They lived on the Windon farm opposite the mouth of Tug Fork. A brother, David, never came to Jackson County.
John Casto and William Casto are said to be brothers of each other, and perhaps cousins of George Casto.
John lived "on Mill Creek not far above Ripley", just where does not appear.
He was married and his children grown when he came to Jackson County.
His children were William, John J. and Daniel.
William Casto married Susie Rollins, a daughter of Elijah J. Rollins. He lived a the first place up Tug Fork. William Casto was found dead in the woods, having been shot.
The body was lying by a log, and the supposition was that he had been sitting on the log imitating the call of the wild turkey, to attract the attention of those birds, when some other hunter, hearing him, and not fairly seeing him, mistook him for a turkey and shot him. He lived where Holly Staats does now.
He probably moved out to Mill Creek not long after 1816, and was from Buckhannon River settlement.
He left five children, one of whom, John Casto, married Elizabeth Reynolds, and lived at the mouth of Bear Tree Run, in 1839. He died leaving only one child. It is said he was killed by a handspike at a logrolling.
John J. Casto (known as Big John) married Gracey McDade, a daughter (It is said) of Samuel McDade, who was one of Mill Creek's pioneers. [James McDade, not Samuel. . .bb]
He lived at the Elijah Rollins place at the mouth of Tug Fork.
Daniel Casto married Polly, sister of Jesse Shamblin, and settled first on Grass Lick above the mouth of Stone Lick, and later on Bear Fork.
William Casto was the founder of the largest of the Casto families.
He came from Buckhannon about 1816 or 1817, and lived in the bend north of Mount Calvary Church.
Some of his children were married before he came to Mill Creek.
One of the oldest of his family was Lucretia, a daughter who married Elijah J. Rollins.
Jonathan married Magdalene Wetherholt, was in the War of 1812, and came to Jackson County about 1816. He lived at Fairplain, on Grass Lick, and died about 1850.
His widow was yet living in 1885.
Benjamin Casto, married a sister of Sam Shinn. He lived in Mason County, and it is said afterward went west. His son Joseph was living in 1898 at the ripe old age of four score years.
James Casto was a highly reputable citizen of the Grass Lick country, who lived on the flats at Fairplain.
He was born about 1786 and died in 1866. He was in the War of 1812.
He married Sydney Kessel, daughter of Jonathan Kessel, who lived on the divide between Mill Creek and Grass Lick. She died in 1883 or 1884. They had one son, who lived a the head of Parchment and was eighty eight years old in 1906.
Levi Casto, another son of William, was born April 2nd, 1808, and died January 27th, 1880. He first married Sarah Wright, widow of Daniel Wright, who was a son of the founder of the Cottageville mills. Her maiden name was Woodruff, probably she was a sister of the Mill Creek pioneer, David Woodruff.
He then married Hannah Carney.
John Casto, who married Nancy Parsons, was a son of William. He had but one child, Anna Casto, who married "Jim" Rhodes, and lived at one time on Frozen Camp.
J. C. M. Rhodes was a son of Chris Rhodes of near Gay, and lived at the Dave Knopp farm.
The widow married John Bord, after John Casto died.
David Casto, who died at Buckhannon, may have been the pupil of Mr. Maddox's school, mentioned formerly.
Isaac Casto lived at the mouth of Buffalo Lick, on Tug Fork, after Andrew Westfall had moved to Elk. Through him, A. A. Skidmore, who married his daughter, acquired the farm.
William Casto, usually spoken of as "Devil Bill", was a son of William Casto, and lived on Tug Fork at the mouth of Grass Run, one mile below Staats Mill.
His wife was Martha Parsons, a sister of Captain Billy Parsons, the pioneer of Ripley. He had eight sons and four daughters. Three sons, David, Jacob and Augustus were in the Union Army.
One of the daughters married Nicholas Casto.
William Casto lived to be one hundred and three years old. Many are the droll storied told of his mischievous humor.
A daughter of George Casto, Elizabeth (says Harold Staats), married Elias, a son of William and brother of Lillitha.
William Casto, Jr., was usually spoken of as "Devil Bill", because of his mischievous disposition and habits of playing pranks.
The Casto's being a large family and the same names appearing often in the different families had a descriptive name attached to distinguish them, as did many other families, such as "Turkey Bill", "Devil Bill", "Big John", etc.
An outline of the Castos of Jackson County shows that the family in this county descended from three men by the name of Casto who came from about the same place in Lewis or Upshur Counties. They were John and William, who are generally supposed to be brothers, and George, a cousin. At least there can be no doubt the families are connected.
George married a Westfall. By this marriage, they had one daughter.
Peggy Casto married Thomas Cunningham.
Later George married Sarah Auers (a German name). Their children were:
John O. Casto married Catherine, daughter of Andrew Westfall.
George Casto married Nancy, daughter of Robert Raines.
David O. Casto married Sarah, daughter of Robert Raines.
James L. Casto married Sarah, daughter of James Bradley.
Joel Casto married Mary Magdalene, daughter of James Bradley.
Nicholas married a daughter of "Devil Bill" Casto.
Mary Casto married Joel Cunningham.
Phebe Casto married Prophet John Greathouse.
Sarah Casto married a Rollins.
Elizabeth Casto married Elias, son of William (Devil Bill) Casto.
Louisa Casto married Dave L. Casto, son of John Casto.
Matilda Casto married Joe Skeen.
John Casto, wife's name not learned. His children were:
William Casto, married Susy Rollins, Their children were Elijah, Barney, George, Grace, G. R., and John, who married Elizabeth Reynolds.
John J. Casto married Gracey McDade. Their children were Jacob H., Edward, Jesse, Jonathan, James M. who married a Tolley, and David L., who married Louise Casto.
Daniel Casto married Polly Shamblin. He had two sons and several daughters.
William Casto (wife's name not learned). His children were:
James Casto, born about 1786, died about 1866, married Sydney Kessel, daughter of Jonathan Kessel. Their children were:
Elmore, married Phebe, daughter of William Cunningham.
Nathan, married Margaret Parsons.
George, married Minerva Davisson.
John Riley, married Ruth Boles.
Nick L., married Margaret Koontz.
Charles C., married Martha, daughter of George Shaw.
Minerva, married Thomas Stout, son of Joe Stout.
Mary, married a Foglesong.
Jonathan Casto, son of William Casto, married Magdalene Wetherholt. Their children were:
Benjamin Franklin, married Matilda Craig.
Isaac, never married.
Barbara, married Billy Goodwin.
Jacob, married a daughter of James Winters.
Elizabeth, married a Barnett.
Abraham, married Becca Crites.
Isaac Casto, son of William Casto, wife's name not learned. His children were:
Earl, married a widow Sheppard.
Absalom was a preacher.
Modlin, married Al Skidmore.
Ben Casto, son of William Casto, had a son Joseph.
David Casto, son of William Casto, lived in Buckhannon.
Delila Casto, daughter of William Casto, married George Kessel.
Phebe Casto, daughter of William Casto, married John Harpold.
Rhoda Casto, daughter of William, married Johnny Pringle.
Lucretia Casto, daughter of William Casto, married Elijah Rollins.
Nancy Casto, daughter of William Casto, married Nicholas Ours.
John Casto, son of William Casto, married Nancy Parsons. Their daughter, Anna, married Jim Rhodes.
Levi Casto, son of William Casto, married first Sarah Woodruff, daughter of the pioneer Woodruff who had formerly been married to a Daniel Wright. After the death of his first wife, Levi married Hannah Carney. His children were Daniel W., George, Charles G, Clayton, Than, who married Tennessee Crow, James who married a Powers, and Francis Asbury, who married Anna Staats.
Abraham Casto, son of William Casto, married Rebecca Crites, daughter of John Crites. [he was son of William's son Jonathan, see above. . .bb]
William ("Devil Bill") Casto, son of William Casto, married Martha Parsons. Their children were Elias, Charley, Martin, Wiley, David, Augustus, Jacob, Mary, John, Anna, and Lillillia, who married Nick Casto. [Telitha. . . bb]
Information given me by one member of the Casto family gave Levi Casto as a son of Thomas Casto. If so, he was a descendant of still another Casto line, as the name does not appear in any of the other families as given me.
The Sarah Casto who married Benjamin Wright was of some family connection.
The Joe Skeen who married Matilda Casto came from the eastern part of the state, and was an early day hunter and pioneer of Kentuck.