An American Family History

Martin Luther Kibler

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves,
and, under a just God cannot retain it."
Abraham Lincoln

Slavery is an immoral system of forced labor where people are treated as property to be bought and sold. It was legal in the American Colonies and the United States until the Civil War.

The First Barbary War (18011805) was between the United States and the Barbary States of Tripoli and Algiers.

Martin Luther Kibler was born on June 24, 1772 in Luray, Shenandoah County, Virginia. It is now in Page County. His parents were Henry and Mary Kibler. Martin was a farmer and remained in Page County for his entire life.

He married Mary Comer on May 8, 1794. Mary was born in Frederick County, Virginia in 1772. Her parents were Johann Martin and Magdalene Gaumer.

They made their life on a 300 acre farm, given to him by his parents, on Pass Run, three miles from Sandy Hook and three and a half miles from Luray. They were Lutheran.

Martin and Mary's children included:
Jacob Kibler (1795, married Nancy Dearing),
Vincent Kibler (1797, married Anna Kieler),
Philip Kibler (1799, married Margaret Coverstone),
Catherine Kibler (1801, married Larkin Skelton),
Susanna Kibler (1802, married Jacob Shenk),
David Kibler (1803, married Asenath Fletcher),
Isaac Kibler (1807), and
William Kibler (1809).

Mary died in 1816.

Dorothy (Dolly) Rickard (Richard?) was Martin's second wife. They married April 4, 1817. Dorothy was born on October 15, 1792. Her parents were Benjamin Rickard and Margaret Packert.

Martin and Dorothy's children included:
Jeremiah Kibler (1818),
Abraham Kibler (1819),
Salome Anna (Sarah Ann) Kibler (1822, married William Asher Strole),
Andrew Jackson Kibler (1824),
Asher M. Kibler (1826, married Sarah Ann Judd),
Benjamin Henry Kibler (1829), and
Louisa A. Kibler Yates Good (1831).

In 1848, the Kibler home burned down. A woman they had enslaved rescued their grandson from the fire.

In 1850 the household consisted of Martin age 77, Dorothy age 58, Benjamin age 20 and Louisa age 17. Martin had five people enslaved. Two were men aged 27 and 25, one was a 24 year old woman and there were two boys age one and two.

Martin died on September 5, 1852 in Virginia. Dorothy passed away on July 19, 1860.
Children of Henry Kibler and
Mary Amelia Pierce
  • Magdalene Kibler Baker
  • Barbara Kibler Pence
  • Adam Kibler
  • John Kibler
  • Philip Kibler
  • Martin Luther Kibler
    Henry Kibler Homestead
    The Henry Kibler Homestead
    photo taken about 1926
    a few miles east of Luray, Virginia
  • In 1831 Page County, Virginia was created from Rockingham and Shenandoah Counties. Originally it was part of Frederick County.

    Many settlers in the Shenandoah Valley were Germans from Pennsylvania called the "Shenandoah Deitsch."

    In 1607 the London Company established Virginia as the first permanent New World English colony.




    from Book Z, p. 377, October 9, 1819

    Between John Kibler and Eve his wife and Martin Kibler and Dolly his wife of Shenandoah County [to] Jacob Garber of the same County...consideration of one Dollar...parcel of Land one of which contains twenty seven and a half acres and was conveyed by Frederick and Abraham Mouser to John Kibler and the other contains twenty two and a half acres and was conveyed by said Frederick and Abraham Mouser to Martin Kibler and the two tracts being included in one tract ... corner to Land said Jacob Garber bought of Lewis Pence...corner to John Wood..containing fifty acres more or less...
    signed John Kibler, Eve Kibler, Martin Kibler and Dolly Kibler. Eve and Dolly signed with mark.
    Recorded October 12, 1819

    Shenandoah County, Virginia was established in 1772. It was originally Dunmore County.


    from Book Z, p. 378, October 9, 1819

    Eve Kibler the wife of John Kibler and Dolly Kibler the wife of Martin Kibler release Dower right to above land


    A Dower is a provision for a wife's support should her husband die before her. Her dower right was the use of ? of her husband's estate. The dower was settled on the bride at the time of the wedding. A drowry was the property a bride brought to her marriage.

    from Life, Character, Death Dr. Benjamin Henry Kibler

    Martin Kibler, a son of Henry Kibler, of whom I have already spoken, and father of the subject of this memoir, at the age of 24 was married to a Miss Comer, and settled on a farm which was tendered him by his father. It was situated on Pass run, three miles from Sandy Hook and three and a half miles from Luray, the present county seat of Page.

    This farm contained about three hundred acres; but in a wild and uncultivated state. Providence smiled on them; and they lived happily and prosperously together for more than fifteen years, during which time seven sons and two daughters were born unto them. One of the sons died in infancy. The other six sons and two daughters still survive.

    His wife's health began to decline, and in defiance of all the medical skill which could be applied, she sunk rapidly away under the most malignant form of dropsy. She died in the year 1816.

    The condition of his domestic affairs was such as to render a second marriage prudent and necessary. Accordingly, in the following year, he was joind (sic) in marriage to a Miss Richard, daughter of Dr. Benjamin Richard of Rockingham county, Va. This union was also blessed, in that she proved herself to be an affectionate wife, a kind and loving mother and a true friend. As the fruits of this union, they were blessed with five sons and two daughters.

    . . . [the Kibler] house was consumed by fire, from which Bejamn (sic), as well as all the other members of the family, made a narrow escape. The fire began in a central closet and extended first to the middle doors, thus preventing the escape of the family. The flames had kindled upon their beds ere they were admonished of their danger. Benjamin's bed was partly consumed when the scorching flames admonished him to flee, which he attempted to do through the door, but found it was well nigh consumed, and a thick volley of smoke and fire warded that point of escape; he was, therefore, forced to dash himself hastily out of a widow.

    When the other members of the family had escaped they hastily inquired "are we all safe?" Facts answered "No, no!" A little grand-son who had visited the family the day before, was missing; a colored woman belonging to the family, rushed in, through the smoke and flames, to the apartment where the little boy was quietly sleeping, and from which some of the family had just escaped, snatched him in her arms, and amid the shouts of applause from the whole family, rescued the little boy, with burning clothes and scorching temples from the fury of the flames.

    This sad event occurred on a cold bleak night in the month of February, when stern winter swayed unmolested his icy scepter over the snow-clad earth. Thus the family was left without a home, without clothes, or anything to screen them from the piercing winds which whistled around. They fled from the fiery ruins as they retired at night,. They fled fled from the fiery ruins as they retired at night, without a garment or a covering to shelter them from the pitiless blast.

    The vast amount of combustibles which composed

    Dropsy or edema, is an abnormal accumulation of body fluids that causes swelling. It is often caused by heart and kidney disease.

    John Adams, Jr. (1735-1826) was the second President of the United States (17971801), the first Vice President (17891797).


    from Life, Character, Death Dr. Benjamin Henry Kibler

    Dr. B. H. Kibler was born on Pass Run in the county of Page, and state of Virginia, on the 29th of October, 1829. . .


    from Life, Character, Death Dr. Benjamin Henry Kibler

    Jeremiah [Kibler], the oldest son by the second marriage, impressed with the importance of an education joined a school for twelve months, during which time he qualified himself to take charge of a common country school, which he soon organized and conducted at Mt. Asa, on the banks of the beautiful and romantic Pass Run. Here he taught for several years, with some advantage to himself and such success in teaching the elements of an education as to gain the approbation of his patrons.


    from The Narrative of Bethany Veney, A Slave Woman

    At Powell's Fort, not far from where I now lived, was the Mount Asa school-house, where the different religious denominations held their meetings. My master's brother, Jerry Kibbler, and his sister Sally had been to a camp-meeting, and got "religion." They came home determined their religion should help others; and, through their influence, this little school-house had been fitted up with pulpit and seats, and now there was to be a series of revival meetings held there. I had never been to any kind of a meeting since I was a little girl, and then my mistress had sometimes taken me along for company....

    So, night after night, I went to the little school-house, and had many precious seasons. Master Jerry and Miss Sally were very kind to me, and tried to show me the way to be a Christian.


    Martin Kibler's Will extract - Will Book E-70
    Executors shall sell all my personal property except my negroes, at public sale & out of the proceeds pay all my just debts & funeral expenses.

    Wife, Dorothy Kibler -  part of my real estate & part of the
    proceeds of my personal property & money, bonds during her natural life. In addition I give my wife one of my slaves, which she may choose.

    Remaining  of my estate both real & personal be equally divided amongst all my children & at the death of my wife, the property devised to her also equally divided amongst all my children.

    The portion of my property which would fall to my daughter, Catharine Skelton, shall not be paid over to her but shall be retained by my Executors to be expended for her use & benefit & should my said daughter Catharine die before she shall have consumed the legacy, then the legacy it shall be divided amongst all her children except Aptel Rickard, who for reasons known to God & myself, I never intend should have any part or portion of my estate either real or personal. I also direct that that portion of my estate which under the provisions of this will would fall to my daughter Catharine Skelton in land, shall be sold by my executors & the money held by them for her use.

    Martin Kublar
    Executor - Son, Jeremiah Kibler
    Witnesses - G. T. Jones, J. W. Watson
    Written - 08 Mar 1851
    Page County, Virginia
    Recorded - 27 Sep 1852

    During the 17th and 18th centuries an adult unmarried woman was considered to have the legal status of feme sole, while a married woman had the status of feme covert. A feme sole could own property and sign contracts. A feme covert was not recognized as having legal rights and obligations distinct from those of her husband and could not own any property. When a woman became a widow she became a feme sole again.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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