Family Tree
 Directory Tree

Dean Vandergriff and Patrick Croghan repairing Arminda's headstone, April 2009.

Left to right: Arminda Catherine Wolfinbarger Vandergriff, James Peter Vandergriff, Sr., Martha Vandergriff Bean (James' sister), and her husband, Jim Bean

Arminda is interred at Vandergriff Cemetery, now Seymore Cemetery, 505 Tater Valley Rd., Knox Co., TN. Also at this cemetery are a number of unmarked graves of her children and perhaps David Vandergriff.
David Vandergriff - Born: 1847, Grainger, Co., TN; Died: 1889
Union Army - Private A Co., 6th MI

Arminda Catherine Wolfenbarger - Born: 19 Oct 1849, Knox Co., TN;
Died: 22 Mar 1935, Knoxville, TN
Daughter of Peter Wolfenbarger (Born: 1812) and Lucinda Williams (Born: 1820;
Died: before 1867, Union Co. TN) Married: 18 Nov 1834

"Things to remember about my Grandma: Arminda Katherine Wolfenbarger. She married David Vandergriff when she was sixteen. She lived with us in Tennessee. We called her “Granny”. She was a small woman about 5’ 1/2”, weighed around 100 lbs.

"Granny had lived with Mom and Pop since 1909, when they were first married. She was there when I was born. You might say I thought of her like a second mom.

"When my parents left Tennessee (1927), Granny remained in Tennessee with her daughter Matilda. Granny was in her upper 80’s when she passed away. I remember how fast she could buckle those high top shoes she always wore – she used a hook. She wore long dresses of small print. She always looked prim & proper. She was full of vinegar, vim, & vitality – had a mind of her own & spoke it. Papa always said I was a lot like Granny.

"She was quite a storyteller. She was 16 at the end of the Civil War. She was born in Virginia. Her parents had slaves, who stayed with the family, after they were freed. She would tell us kids stories about the Civil War days, how when they heard the Federalist army was coming their way (this was in VA) she had purchased a piece of fabric for a new dress. She folded it & sat on it – she saved her fabric. The soldiers only took food – no one was harmed.

"During the Civil War, Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia camped on the family farm. Robert E. Lee spent the night in the family home with the officers camped in the yard.

"Granny gave birth to 16 babies but only 4 lived. These 12 babies & Arminda Kathryn Wolfenbarger Vandergriff are buried on the family farm, in Tater Valley Tenn. I was there in 1987. The family plot is fenced in & cattle run in the pasture around the family plot.

"As far as I know Grandpa David Vandergriff is also buried there. He was 42 years old at the time of his death. He made his living distilling corn whiskey. Like so many people in that part of the country did. Times were hard then, people had a hard time making a living. My grandmother always said, “David wasn’t a drinker”. My dad, James Peter Vandergriff, Sr. was only 7 or 8 years old when his dad died. He didn’t go to the funeral, instead went fishing. He said his dad died suddenly, and as Papa got older he believed his dad must have had appendicitis or a heart attack. There is no record of where he was buried. I have always thought he was buried in Tater Valley, Tenn. I know that’s what my dad understood."  —Bernice Vandergriff, transcribed from notes given to Dean Vandergriff by Bernice Vandergriff at the 2008 Lyster family reunion.

  David Vandergriff            
  M: Arminda Catherine Wolfenbarger
Date: 8 Feb 1865
    Matilda E. Vandergriff      
        Martha L. Vandergriff      
          Married: Jim Bean
        James Peter Vandergriff, Sr.  
          Married: Frances Mamie Needham
Date: 12 Dec 1909
        Jessie Vandergriff