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The Spiker Gazette
Oxford, WVVolume  10Issue  2February 2016
In this Issue:Our Link to Phebe Tucker Cunningham
Online Book, History of Ritchie County...
Online Book, Chronicles of Border Warfare...


Our Link to Phebe Tucker Cunningham

Written by:  Bobbi Spiker-Conley

     I stumbled across these two photos from my mother, Dean Spiker's, old photo albums. She was fairly consistent in identifying the subjects in her photos but for some unknown reason these were not marked. After sharing the pics with a few of our - Ahem - "older" cousins, we came to the conclusion that the woman is probably our grandmother Gay Spiker. Everyone agreed that the man "looks familiar" - maybe Ed Haught or Hayward Summers -  but no-one could positively identify either one. (If you know, please contact me.)

     What is unmistakable is the inscription on the monument the woman is chalking -- Isaac Collins, grandson of Phoebe Cunningham. History buffs may recall the story of Phebe/Phoebe (Tucker) Cunningham, "one of the most noted women of colonial times who was captured by the Indians in 1785 and remained as their prisoner for three years. Her four children who were captured with her, all met tragic deaths at the hands of the savage foe."  A Google search for Thomas and Phebe Cunningham will result in many versions of this tale, some disputing the length of time she was held captive and some disputing the named sources of her rescue. Which do we believe? I'll leave it to you to decide. 

     My interest was in determining if there was a family link between the Spikers and the Cunninghams. After all, why would Grandmother Gay be focused on preserving a copy of some random stranger's stone?

     Preliminary research shows that, indeed, there is a relationship, but only by marriage. My 3rd great-uncle Simon (our Jacob Bradford's brother) married Eliza Collins, great-granddaughter of Thomas and Phebe Cunningham. So is that the reason? Perhaps. Or perhaps a reader will contact us with another theory or insider information. (Keeping fingers crossed.) The photos are intriguing. The stories of the Cunningham family are provocative. Until we learn more, below is a small sampling of a history that is close to home.





You can read more about Thomas and Phebe (Tucker) Cunningham through the online books embedded below. In the first book, author Minnie K. Lowther references the story from the second book, The Chronicles of War.  

Both books have been opened to the pages where the stories begin.


Thomas & Phebe Cunningham (by Minnie K Lowther)

The Chronicles of Border Warfare - Story of Phebe Cunningham





♦  Submitted by:  Mike Spiker -- REMINDER - HOLD THE DATES -- May 28th & 29th 2016

1.  On Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 1:00 PM there will be a special memorial gathering held for Paul Miller at the farm house. 

2.  The Annual Spiker Family Reunion will be held Sunday, May 29, 2016.