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The Plymale Family In America
A Brief History

One story handed down over many years says that:

About the year 1730, two Plymale brothers, given names unknown, are thought to have set sail from Brittany, France for what was then known as the New World, or the Colonies. We attribute their leaving Europe both to political and religious disturbances. They were thought to be Protestants and followers of the Lutheran creed. *

After a voyage comprising some four months, they landed in Virginia and like many of those who came to America during those troubled times, they faced many of the hardships of the early pioneers' lives. The two brothers remained together until about a year or so after their arrival. At that time they separated and the older brother, supposedly through advice from the old country, returned to his native land to secure relinquishment of family property. Unfortunately, we lose all trace of him after his return. Whether he ever reached Europe, was killed, seized, thrown into prison, or was allowed to take possession of his rights is unknown.


Between the year of 1732 and 1735, the younger brother (first name unknown) who remained in America and the Sire of all American Plymales, married a Virginia lady** and settled in Middle Virginia near the present site of Lynchburg, moving later to Giles County, Virginia. Here he faced the treacherous forest by first cutting down giant trees, then hewing them into shape for erection of a log cabin in the center of a clearing. This spot, which is on Spruce Run, a small tributary on the New River, and about 25 miles from the present site of Pearisburg, Virginia (County seat of Giles County), marks the beginning of the American Plymale Family. To this spot and this county every Plymale (Plimale, Plimell, Plymell, Plymel, Plymal, Plymail, Plymall) all of whom are the same family, trace their lineage.

To this first Plymale family mentioned above there were at least six children born. There names are:

0-1. Anthony Plymale (Plimale)
0-2. Michael Plymale
0-3. John Plymale (Plimell)
0-4. Elizabeth Plymale
0-5. Anne Plymale
0-6. James Plymale

The above six, being the first Plymales we have records of, all married in Virginia, between 1785 and 1792. They are considered to be the second generation of Plymales in America.


(Click Here for another view)

The oldest son of this first Plymale family, Anthony(0-1), inherited and later sold all of the Plymale land in Giles County by the year 1820. The photograph above is of the house that now stands on this land. It was taken in 1993.  Click Here to see a photo of the house that was taken in the 1960's.  This house is said to have been built by the Cook family in the mid to late 1800’s. It is of course possible that some of the stones that comprise one of the three fireplaces in this house are from the original Plymale home.

There is also a cemetery at the top of the hill directly behind this house where there are several members of the Cook family buried.  Although none of the grave markers are older than about 1900, it is possible that this was used as a burial ground for quite some time before this, and perhaps this first Plymale settler (first name unknown), and his wife are buried there.
(Click Here to see a photo looking up the hill towards the cemetery.)

--- The above history is taken largely from the works of John M. M. Plymale(0-1-3-11-1),  John Fred Plymale(0-1-3-11-1-4), Fred O. Plymale (0-1-13-12-1), with additional information by John Alan Plymale (0-1-6-6-10-3-2).

*There are a few different opinions about what nationality these first original Plymale settlers actually were.  Further discussion of this topic is located on the European Roots page.

** There are no marriage records in Virginia for the period covering this marriage. According to the County Clerk of Augusta and Botetourt counties, marriage records were not kept until 1785. This makes it very difficult to learn names of our ancestors, and some of the names may never be known.   Augusta and Botetourt counties cover the territory which Giles County was formed from.


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Updated On May 04, 2004 08:47 PM