An American Family History


The Lemen Family of the Eastern Panhandle


The Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia borders Maryland and Virginia. The first European settlers started arriving about 1730.

  also spelled Leamon, Leman, Lemon  

West Virginia is located in the Appalachians and was originally part of Virginia. The capital and largest city is Charleston. It became a state during the Civil War and was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863.

James Lemen was born in Ireland, but his parents were from Scotland.

He married Jane Burns.

James Lemen
Robert Lemen (1716)
Thomas Lemen (1730, married Margaret Slough),
Nicholas Lemen
John (1715)

James came to America with his brothers and settled in Virginia in 1708.

James' sons were early settlers in, what is now, the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.



  John Lemen was born about 1715 in Martinsburg, Virginia (now West Virginia) to James Lemen and Jane Burns.

John may have married Jane Ruth Catlett.

Blanche Lemen (1737, married John Taylor),
Alexander Lemen (1738, married Mary Reynolds),
Mary Lemen (1740, married Jacob Morgan),
James Lemen (1748),
John Lemen (1753),
William Lemen (1756, married Margaret Martin)
daughter Lemen (married John Barns)

In 1746 they settled on a farm near Harper's Ferry.

John died on April 2, 1774.


Robert Lemen was born in 1716.

Robert Lemen
John Lemen
William Lemen


Nicholas Lemen was born about 1725.

His wife was named Christina.

John Lemen (1749, married Martha),
Robert Lemen (1751, married Esther Barnes),
Nancy Ann Lemen (1754)
Mary Ann Lemen (1756, married Andrew Fouts)
Thomas Lemen (1758),
James Lemen (1760, married Catherine Ogle).

They lived in Frederick County, Virginia which is now Jefferson County, West Virginia.





from History of the Lemen Family, of Illinois, Virginia and Elsewhere

In 1656, Robert Lemen and his wife, with his brother William Lemen and the other members of the family, moved from Scotland and settled in the North of Ireland. Among Robert Lemen's children, born in the North of Ireland, was Nicholas Lemen, who married in Scotland, but settled and reared his family in North Ireland;

and in 1708 three of his (Nicholas' ) sons, James, Robert and Nicholas Lemen, came to America and settled in Virginia. All were married there and had families. There was a Stephen Lemen who settled in Virginia at an early day, but he belonged to another branch of the family...

Of the three young men, James, Robert and Nicholas Lemen, who came from Scotland and settled in Virginia in 1708, and who were married and reared their families there, the daughters only of Robert's family survived, his sons having died in infancy;

Nicholas' family consisted of both sons and daughters,

and of James Lemen's family two daughters and four sons survived, the latter being John, Robert, Nicholas and Thomas Lemen. Three of them finally lived near Harper's Ferry, Va.



Appalachia was the 18th century backcountry and many settlers were Scots-Irish. It includes southern New York, western Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia, West Virginia, eastern Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee and northern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

John Lemen son of James Lemen and Jane Lemen, nee Burns, his wife, was born at the home of his parents in Eastern Virginia, in 1715. In early life his education was limited, but in later years he became a man of large practical information. He was reared in the faith of the Church of England.

He was married in Eastern Virginia in 1737, and with his wife settled on his farm there, where their older children were born. Their children were:
Alexander, born December 10, 1738;
Mary, born in 1740, and
William, and
two other daughters in the order named.

In 1746 he and wife with their young family removed and settled on a farm near Harper's Ferry, in what is now West Virginia. He was a good planter, and a man much esteemed for his excellent character and other noble qualities.

He died at his home on May 10, 1774. The name of his wife is on our old records, but it is faded out and is illegible, though our old family notes mention her as yet living in 1777 with her son William.

John's oldest son, Alexander, married Miss Mary Reynolds on June 8, 1773, and their children were: Elizabeth, Jane, William, Margaret, John, Ann, Alexander and Mary.

James, another son, married in 1775, had one child, Ruth; his wife died in 1776, and he died July 10, 1777.

John, one of the older sons, was also married and reared a family.

William, the other son, married Miss Margaret Martin in 1781.

Of the three daughters, Mary married Jacob Morgan,

the second daughter married John Barns,

and the other daughter married John Taylor, and they all had families...

The New River flows through North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia .In 1755, Mary Draper Ingles (1732-1815) was captured by Shawnee warriors near Blacksburg and taken to Ohio. She escaped and made her way home by following the Ohio, Kanawha, and New Rivers.


Robert Lemen, a son of James Lemen and Jane Burns Lemen, his wife, was born at the home of his parents in Eastern Virginia on August 3, 1716.

In early life his education was meager, but in later years he became a large reader and a man of liberal information. He was a member of the Church of England.

In 1737 he married, and with his wife settled on his farm in Eastern Virginia, where their older children were born.

In 1746 with his wife and young family he removed and settled near Harper's Ferry, now in West Virginia, where he procured a farm. His vocation was that of a planter. He was a man of excellent and popular traits of mind and character, and was warmly esteemed by all of his neighbors.

He died at his home near Harper's Ferry in 1766.



Nicholas [Lemen], who was born in Virginia in 1725, was married there in 1747. In 1746 he had made a survey of a tract of land in Frederick County (now Jefferson County), West Virginia, where he and his wife settled and had their family. This tract of land was confirmed to him by a grant from Thomas Lord Fairfax, Baron of Cameron and Lord Proprietor of the Northern Part of Virginia, under the seal of the crown, and bearing date September 5, 1756. The tract comprised 570 acres.

The children of Nicholas Lemen and Christian Lemen, his wife, were

John, born December 14, 1749;
Robert, born November 6, 1750;
Nancy, born March 4, 1754;
Mary, born January 7, 1756;
Thomas, born February 4, 1758, and
James, born November 20, 1760.


Thomas Lemen was a son of James Lemen and wife, Jane Lemen, nee Burns, whose home was in Eastern Virginia. In 1730 his parents were on their return from a visit to Ireland, and Thomas was born on board the ship in that year on June 20.

He acquired an ordinary education, and in later years was a large reader and became a man of broad general information. He removed from his parents' home when of age and procured a home near Harper's Ferry, now in West Virginia.

He was united in marriage with Miss Margaret Slough on January 11,1757, and then settled at his home in Virginia. Their family comprised five children, namely:
William Slough,
Thomas and
one daughter.

Thomas was reared in the faith of the Church of England. He gave his children good educational and religious training, was a bountiful provider for all their needs, maintained strict family government, but was warmly devoted to his family's best interests, as was also his wife.

In 1767, with wife and children, he removed and settled in Pennsylvania, and in 1772 he became a judicial officer under the crown by a commission from George III; the duties of which he faithfully and impartially executed until his death in 1775, which occurred at his home in Pennsylvania.

from History of the Lower Shenandoah Valley Counties of Frederick, Berkeley ... edited by J. E. Norris

This is one of the oldest families of the Valley, there being one of them, John Lemen, in the merchandising business in Frederick county, or that portion of it now known as Berkeley and Jefferson, as early as 1754, as shown by the records of Frederick county. They have always been an enterprising business family, some of the members of which have been leading citizens, either as merchants, millers, farmers or fruit raisers. They have mostly lived in the lower valley, or rather the northern portion of Berkeley and Jefferson.