Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday's Obituary: Tansill

Alexandria Gazette
6 March 1846

At the residence of her father, Rev. J. E. Weems, Summerfield, Prince William County, Va. on the 1st inst, in the 24th year of her age, Mrs. FRANCES ANN, consort of Lieut. Robert Tansill, of the U.S. Marine corps., of pulmonary consumption. During her protracted sickness, the beauties of christianity were made manifest in her patient and cheerful acquiesence under the afflicting rod of Him, who,
"Behind a frowning providence
Doth hide a smiling face.
How blest is our sister bereft
Of all that could burden the mind!
How easy the soul that has left
This wearisome body behind!
Of evil incapable, thou,
Whose relics with envy I see,
No longer in misery now,
No longer a sinner like me."



Alexandria Gazette
20 July 1846

DIED, at his residence in the County of Prince William, Va., on the 30th of June, Mr. SAMUEL TANSILL, in the 39th year of  his age, leaving a wife and four children, to mourn their irreparable loss.



Alexandria Gazette
1 June 1849

DIED, in Dumfries, Va., on Tuesday, the 29th ult., after an illness of five days, Mr. JOHN TANSILL, in his 70th year.



Alexandria Gazette
7 January 1856

On the 4th inst. at 6 o'clock, LUTHER TANSILL of the United States Coast Survey, aged 20 years and 5 months, son of the late Samuel Tansill, of Prince William co., Va., 


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Will: Theodore Vandenburgh (1853)

Theodore Vandenburgh Will
Prince William Co. Will Book Q pg. 147

In the name of God, Amen I Theodore Vandenburgh of the County of Prince William and State of Virginia, being of sound mind and memory, do make and publish this my last Will and Testament. I give and bequeath to my mother Emily Vandenburgh all of my personal property, also one hundred acres of land from the South end of the last I purchased from Jesse E. Weeks Senr. Known as the home and mill tract, commencing at the Spriggs and Dumfries road and running Easterly on the line between Mr. Keys and myself to the first corner at the stock yard and then running an easterly course until it strikes the east line of sufficient width to make one hundred acres, the aforesaid land and chattels I wish to be freed from all encumbrance out of the avails of the balance of my Estate, after my just and lawful debts are paid. The balance I give and bequeath unto my father, John W. Vandenburgh to have the use of or interest during his lifetime for the support or so much of it as he may need of either principle or interest at his decease the balance I give bequeath and devise unto my brother Wyndent Vandenburgh and my sisters Frances, Mary, Elizabeth, and Caroline Vandenburgh to be divided in equal shares between them. I do nominate and appoint my Father Jno. Vandenburgh to be the sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament, and I do hereby empower him as such to dispose of my Estate, except the one hundred acres bequeathed to my Mother Emily Vandenburgh, either at public or private sale as he may judge best, and invest the same in real or personal property after my just and lawful debts are payed, and the one hundred acres bequeathed to my Mother shall be discharged from all encumbrances. In testimony, whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal, and publish and decree this to be my last Will and Testament, in presence of the Witnesses named below, this 9th day of April one thousand eight-hundred and fifty-three.

Theodore Vandenburgh {seal}

Signed, sealed, declared and published by the said Theodore Vandenburgh as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who at his request and in his presence and each others have subscribed our names as Witnesses hereto

John M. Payne
Robt. E. Utterbach

A. B. Between the 10th and 11th lines from the bottom of the first page the word principal was omitted through mistake, and afterwards ad[d]ed.

John M. Payne
Robt. E. Utterbach

At a court held for Prince Wm. County on the 2d day of May 1853 this last Will and Testament of Theodore Vandenburgh decd was proved by the oaths of Jno. M. Payne and Robt. E. Utterback witnesses thereto, and was ordered to be recorded and at a Court of quarterly Sessions held for said county on the 6th day of June 1853 on the motion of Jno. W. Vandenburgh the executor named in the last will & testament of Theodore Vandenburgh decd. who made oath and together with Thomas B. Alexander and Maklow S. Lindsly his Seryd. entered into and ackd. a bond in the penalty of $500.00 conditioned as the law directs certificate is granted the said Jno. W. Vandenburgh for obtaining letters of administration on the said decedents estate in due form.


Teste, P. D. Lipscomb, clk.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday's Obituary: Chandler Keys

Evening Star (DC)
25 April 1895

Mr. Chandler Keys, one of the oldest and best known citizens of the county, died yesterday evening, after a brief illness, at his home, one mile north of this place, in the ninetieth year of his age. Deceased was a native of Prince William county, but had resided here since early manhood. During his long life he was a man of much energy and accumulated a handsome property. For a number of years he acted as a justice of the peace for the fourth district. He leaves two children, a son and daughter. His funeral will take place on Friday at 3 p.m.

[Chandler Keys is buried in Rockville Cemetery in Montgomery County, Maryland.  As a man with "a handsome property," at one time Keys is known to have owned 229 acres and the historic Watt's Branch Miller's House, "...reserving the right of way into the family burial ground and the privileges of the stream..." ~cgl]


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Will: Anne Ward (1852)

ANNE WARD Will
Prince William County Will Book Q, pg. 79

I Anne Ward of the County of Prince William do make and ordain this to be my last will and testament, hereby revoking any and all other will or wills by me heretofore made whereas my deceased husband Zachariah Ward did by his last will and testament, which is of record in the clerks office of the County court of Prince William, Give and devise to me during my natural life all his estate both real and personal consisting of the small tracts of land, two in the County of Fairfax and one in the County of Prince William, together with all his negroes, horses, cattle and house hold furniture, after my death, the one half to be equally divided between his four children, Barbara, Berkely, Hetty, Mariah, the other half of his estate be left at my disposal to give it to whom I please among his children and grand children. I give and devise to my daughter Mariah Ward the one half of my said husband’s estate which was left at my disposal. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto let my hand and seal this 24th day of October 1851.

Anne Ward

Signed, sealed, published and delivered by said Anne Ward as and for her last will and testament in presence of

B. Ward
A. H. Saunders
Jno. A. Saunders
Robt. E. Utterback

At a court of quarterly sessions continued and held for Prince William Count on this 3d day of August 1852 this last will and testament of Anne Ward decd. was presented to the court and being proved by the oaths of Berkely Ward and Addison H. Saunders witnesses thereto and was ordered to be recorded.


Teste, P. D. Lipscomb, clk



Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sunday's Obituary: Hopkins / Muschett / Risen

Alexandria Daily Advertiser (VA)
2 February 1807

Departed this life, at Dumfries, on the 30th ultimo, Mr. C. H. MUSCHETT, merchant, of that place, in the 26th year of his age, after a short but severe illness.  He has left a number of connections and acquaintances to deplore his loss.




Daily National Intelligencer (DC)
14 July 1824

DIED, on the 6th inst. at the residence of John Gibson, Esq. in Dumfries, Va., Mr. CHARLES EDWARD MSUCHETT, of a pulmonary affection.




Alexandria Gazette (VA)
8 February 1875

January 25th, near Independent Hill, Prince William county, in the 21st year of her age, Mrs. FRANKLIN RISEN.

January 28th, near Independent Hill, Prince William county, at the residence of Mr. C. Corbin, Miss BETSY HOPKINS.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Newspaper Tidbit: PWCo Items - July 3, 187

Alexandria Gazette
3 July 1871

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY [from the Manassas Gazette] -- The County Seal of Prince William county, which disappeared during the war, was recovered on Tuesday last, by Mr. Lawrence Cole, in Alexandria.  Mr. C. did not know who possessed it, as he received it through the hands of a third party.

The new brick depot of the O.A.&M. Railroad has been completed and is a credit, alike to the energetic and capable General Superintendent of the road, and to the village of Manassas.

One day last week some one on entering the Clerk's office at Brentsville was surprised at seeing a large black snake resting in one of the corners of the room near the ceiling. It is needless to say that his snakeship did not remain long in that position.

A lady while gathering blackberries near Brentsville last week, made a very narrow escape from the bite of a copper head moccasin. Fortunately she saw it just as it was coiled to strike, and it was dispatched before it could do any harm.

An effort is being made to induce the O.A.&M. R.R. Co. to put a train on their road to carry milk, produce, and local travel early in the day and to return at night.

On Saturday last while some of our farmers were congregated in the store of Mr. F. J. Cannon, two of them became engaged in wrestling, and one of them, named Henry Payne, falling heavily against the counter, broke two of his ribs.

Mr. Homer who recently purchased in the vicinity of Greenwich, met with a painful and dangerous accident on Thursday last. He was going through a gate and while leading his horse through, the animal took fright, and starting to run, caught Mr. H., between one of the wheels and the gate post, inflicting severe injuries.

~ ~ ~ 

[I love reading the local items that go beyond "news," providing snapshots of lives, personalities, and lore.  They help to flesh out the images of our ancestors.  As an example, through this particular news article I learned that my 3rd great grandfather, Lawrence Cole, was responsible for recovering the "lost" PWCo seal "through the hands of a third party."  I can't help but wonder how my grandfather became an intermediary and the circumstances leading up to the exchange that lead to the seal's recovery. ~cgl]


Monday, July 25, 2016

Amanuensis Monday: Will: Richard Vanpelt

RICHARD VANPELT Will
Prince William County Will Book Q, pg. 148

I Richard Vanpelt of the County of Prince William and State of Virginia knowing the uncertainty of human life and being of sound and disposing mind revoking all others do make this my last will and testament in the following form and words to wit. It is my will and desire that my wife Polly Vanpelt shall inherit all my estate both real and personal should she survive me and to enjoy the same during her natural life and after the death of my wife Polly it is my wish that my whole estate be sold, except my servant Daniel and two thirds of the proceeds of such sale to be paid to my grandson Joseph Vanpelt, and the other third to be paid over to my daughter Ellen German or her legal heirs. It is my will and desire that my servant Daniel shall be set free after the death of myself and my wife. Given under my hand and seal this 18th day of September 1851.

Richard Vanpelt {seal}

Signed and sealed in presence of

Jas. D. Tennille
T. A. Smith
Edward Harding

At a court held for Prince William on the 2d day of May 1856

This last will and testament of Richard Vanpelt deceased was proved according to law, by the oaths of James D. Tennille, Thomas A. Smith and Edward Harding witnesses thereto, and is ordered to be recorded, and there being no executor named in the said Will and Polly Vanpelt having relinquished in writing her right to the administration on the said descendants estate in favor of Thomas A. Smith, and on the motion of the said Thomas A. Smith who made oath, and together written L. Carter his security, entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of one thousand eight hundred dollars, conditioned as the law directs, certificate is granted the said Thomas A. Smith for obtaining letters of administration on the said descendant’s estate, with his will aforesaid annexed in due form.

Teste, P. D. Lipscomb, clk