Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Personal: Welcome to Living in Asheville, North Carolina

Hello and welcome.

As the title indicates, I live in Asheville, NC. I have lived here, full-time, for nearly two years and find it a very unique place to live. I have lived across the US, from Dover, DE to San Diego, CA and many places between, and find Asheville unique as a small city with an interesting, progressive, and varied population. The City is progressive and contemporary, due in part to the influx of accomplished creative and technically-oriented people from across the United States and many other countries. However, Asheville also possesses a rich history which is most apparent to the casual visitor in the architecture of the City, local towns and rural dwellings. And, of course, the ubiquitous beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Why do I choose to write about Asheville? Well, writing about Asheville has been common in recent years, almost cool, as Asheville has gained national attention and experienced a renaissance of sorts. I have been influenced, in some ways, by the national rediscovery of Asheville but my attraction to Asheville and the local area is deeper and more substantial than simply fad or trend. My paternal ancestors were among the first Europeans to settle this area in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Hopefully, this brief overview of my "roots" will prove interesting and, hopefully, helpful to other descendants curious about their genealogy and ancestry.

The first of my ancestors to arrive in the area were Frances and Robert David Rogers, who were born in Ireland in 1744 and 1741, respectively. Frances died in 1828 at 81 years of age and is buried in Roger's Cemetery in Cullowhee, NC, about 50 miles from Asheville. Robert died in 1810 and his cemetery plot is thought to be on the Biltmore Estate. The couple had 10 children. One of these children, Hugh Rogers, was born in Philadelphia in 1761. Hugh and his parents relocated to this area and Hugh was one of the first settlers in the Fines Creek area, about 30 miles west of Asheville. Hugh served in the Revolutionary War as a young man. Eventually, he and his wife wife Nancy produced twelve sons.

My line derives from one of these sons, Robert Rogers, who was born in 1805. Robert settled what is known as Rogers Cove, just to the north of Lake Junaluska, in nearby Waynesville, NC. Several members of my extended family still live on land originally settled by Robert and the remnants of some of the original cabins can still be seen. Robert and two of his sons died within months of one another in late 1859. Robert and his sons George and Michael are buried at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Clyde, NC, about 20 miles west of Asheville. Robert's wife, Susanna (1810-1901), is also buried at this cemetery.

James K. Polk Rogers, a son of Robert, was born in 1846 and lived in the Rogers Cove area. He died in 1915 and is buried at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Waynesville. Also buried in that cemetery is his daughter, Callie Rogers Burress, who was born in 1874 and died 1929.

My great-grandmother, Millie Mae (Burress) Melton, was one of three daughters born to Callie and Samuel Pinkney Burress. Mille was born in 1896 and died in 1983. She is buried in Fulbright Cemetery at Rogers Cove. Her son and my grandfather, Robert Vinson Burress, for whom I am named, is buried near her. My grandfather was born in 1916 and died in 2001. My father, Dwayne Vinson Burress, is alive and thriving. He recently turned 73 and he and my mother celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in June of 2009.

So, if you're counting, you probably determined that I am the ninth generation to call this area home. As my father will be buried at the Fulbright Cemetery when his time comes, eight generations will be buried in a five relatively close cemeteries from Asheville to the Waynesville area. I am proud of this unique heritage which spans the life of our Nation. Yes, I find modern day Asheville a pleasant and interesting place to live but my attraction to this City and region is generations deep.

Thanks to my cousin, Cindy Burress Thurmond, whose genealogical research made this article possible.


  1. I think we didn't talk about my being from Dover, DE. Read you lived there, much after I left, but still have family there. Great to meet you and hear about your blog.

  2. Hey, Rob! i found your blog searching on 'Callie Rogers North Carolina'! nice to see the family history posted so nicely! Cindy's sure done a nice job - and i'm glad you got it up to fine easily. Not sure if you know, but Tim and Heather just named their newest son Cameron Rogers Burress. in honor of the Rogers line! anyhow, good to hear you! ~cathy (burress) hinek

  3. I am decended from David Rogers who settled in Buck Creek, Macon county, Hugh/David/Thomas Newton/James M./Cora(Dietrich)/James/Shirley(Stuebner)/John Jr.(Thats me). Would love to know how to get to Frances's grave tried several times but could not find it. I would also like to know if anyone in your family is involved in the DAR or SAR, would love to be involved in the SAR and my mother the DAR.
    Love your site.
    John Stuebner

  4. I am a decendent of Robert David Rogers who married Frances Russell. My line travels down through Sallie Viola Rogers. I would love to hear more about the Rogers line...
    Matt Anderson

  5. I am hoping someone here can help me to fill in some of the blanks and confusion in my family history. I am a descendent of Robert David Rogers and Francis Russell. My line travels through Robert Thomas Rogers and Hannah Tipton. The problem I have is authenticating Robert T. Rogers' marriage with Hannah Tipton because information online also shows that he was married to Jane Turner. So who was Robert Thomas Rogers married to and why so much confusion? My line goes: Norman Rogers (dad), Ethel Lloyd Rogers (grandfather), Robert David Rogers (great grandfather), Stephen Rogers (2nd great grandfather) and Robert Thomas Rogers (3rd great grandfather. Any help is appreciated.

    Jacquie Rogers Jauch

    1. Robert Rogers married Hannah Tipton. Robert T Rogers married Jane Turner. Two different Roberts. Robert Rogers lived on land next to Joseph Tipton in the Watauga settlement area, Washington Co, TENN. Possibly the son of Robert Rogers who married Elizabeth White in Augusta Co., VA ( Still working on that). Robert m. Hannah Tipton in Washington Co, TENN in 1793. Robert David Rogers and Francis Russell is a different line than the Robert that married Hannah Tipton (daughter of Major Jonathan Tipton).

  6. I got excited and thought that I had finally traced my ancestors back to yours. My 4th great-grandfather was Robert Rogers b. 1805 he married Lydia Bailey and was from Taylor Co. Virginia/now West Virginia. Looks like I need to keep looking.