Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday's Child: Kenworth Brandt

Manassas Journal
November 28, 1913


Kenworth Brandt, Youthful Son of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. D. Brandt, Passes Away

Early on Wednesday morning, the angel of death entered "Bonnie View," the country home of Mr. and Mrs. George D. Brandt, and bore to the heavenly rest the youthful spirit of little Kenworth, their only son, who had known but eight summers of this life.

The funeral will be held at 1:30 o'clock this afternoon in Asbury Methodist church, and the little body will be laid to rest in the cemetery near town.  The pastor, Rev. J. E. Slick, will conduct the service.

Mr. and Mrs. Brandt are tendered the sympathy of the community in their bereavement.  Though a newcomer the little boy had won a place in the hearts of his young companions.  May the little sister's grief be assuaged by the affectionate interest of her friends.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Military Monday: Called to Service

Manassas Journal
October 18, 1918


The following men have been called to go to Fort Caswell, Southport, N.C., on October 21:

Harvey Woodyard, Bristow
Owen Edw. Dove, Manassas
H. A. Hammill, Woodbridge
Clayton Liming, Joplin
Archy Ruel Milstead, Hoadley
Carroll M. Edwards, alternate, Gainesville

Sunday, April 13, 2014

PWCo Items: Canova (1919)

Manassas Journal
October 17, 1919


Rev. J. A. Golihew, of Washington, pastor of the Baptist Church, has moved with his family to this community. 

Owing to the inclement weather, no services were held at Woodbine Church on Sunday.  Sunday School will be held next Sunday at 11 a.m.

Many from this community attended an oyster supper at Independent Hill Friday evening.

Mr. Clifford Lowe, of Washington, spent the week-end with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. S. R. Lowe.

Mr. W. H. Cornwell visited friends at Marshall during the week.

Mr. and Mrs. Harry Farquhar, of Washington, spent last week at the home of Mr. and Mrs. S. R. Lowe and visited friends in this community.

Mrs. George Purcell and her daughter, Miss Evelyn Purcell, went to Washington Sunday and will make their home in the city for the present.

Mr. T. M. Russell and family motored to Manassas Monday afternoon.

Mr. A. C. Storke passed through Canova Friday, en route to Independent Hill, where he spent the weekend with his mother, Mr.s George Copen.

Mr. I. J. Breeden, of Washington, recently visited at his former home here.

Mr. Joseph Lowe motored to Manassas Monday.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Will: James Dalton (1812)

Prince William County Will Book K, pg. 144
21 July 1811; proved 3 Feb 1812

I give and bequeath to my grand daughter KATHY CASH (the oldest child of my daughter ELIZABETH LEE) my negro man BEN and all the money that may now or hereafter may be due me by bond note or otherwise but if the said KATY CASH dies before she arrives at the age of twenty one or marries then and in that case I desire that my property of every kind may be divided equally between my four daughters RACHEL DUNSFORD, CHARITY MARTIN, ANNA DUNNINGTON and ELIZABETH LEE – I appoint my friend REDWOOD EVANS Executor of this my last & testament.  In Witness whereof I do hereunto set my hand & affix my seal this twenty first day of July eighteen hundred and eleven.

The words may be interlined before signing.


Signed sealed & acknowledged in the presence of us


At a Court held for Prince William County February 3rd 1812.

This last will and testament of JAMES DALTON decd. was presented to the Court by REDWOOD EVANS the Executor therein named who made oath to the same according to law and the said will being proved by the oaths of CHARITY BOHANNON and ANN REEDS is ordered to be recorded and the said REDWOOD EVANS having taken the oath of an Executor and performed what is usual in such cases certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate thereof in due form.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Newspaper Tidbit: PWCO Items (June 16, 1875)

Alexandria Gazette
June 12, 1875

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY ITEMS. -- The June term of the County Court held its session this week.  Judge Nicol presiding.  Most of the term was occupied in bonding and qualifying the lately elected county and district officers.  The collectors returned their delinquent lists for the year 1875, which were examined by the court, corrected and certified to the auditor of public accounts.  Several deeds were admitted to record, and quite a number of orders were entered for the refunding of taxes for erroneous assessments.  The colored man who has been in jail for some time charged with an attempt to burn M. W. H. Dogan's barn was adjudged a lunatic and ordered to be sent to an insane asylum.

Bartlett Scott, an industrious colored man, who does most of the well dig[g]ing in this vicinity, in attempting to descend into a well by a rope on Wednesday at Mrs. Hooe's, missed his hold and fell to the bottom, a distance of thirty-five feet.  Three feet of water in the well broke the force of the fall, but gave him a most sudden and unexpected plunge bath.

The country is overrun with drummers of every conceivable grade, and we have no doubt that a large number of them are unlicensed.

~ Manassas Gazette

[Anyone else trying to visualize a "country overrun with drummers?"  ~cgl]

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

PUBLIC NOTICE: County Requests Information about Identity of Cemetery

Several weeks ago I was contacted by representatives of the Prince William Public Works and the Coles District Volunteer Fire and Rescue Station regarding a small, abandoned cemetery beside the Fire House.  The County is trying to determine the identity of those who may be buried within the cemetery and, if possible, if there are any living descendants.

Unlike the Lynn Cemetery on the 12th High School construction site, this cemetery was never "lost."  Once upon a time, it even had an engraved tombstone that definitively named one of those buried therein.  The stone read:

To the Memory of
Chas. E. Norman
Was born May 22, 1814
Departed this life
Oct. 8, 1855
Aged 41 yrs, 4 mos, 16 days

Somewhere along the way, the stone was removed and relocated to Ebenezer Baptist Church Cemetery in Loudoun County -- presumably by a descendant.   The other graves remained behind, marked by simple quartz field stones.  No names.  No dates.  No identities.

Charles Edward Norman, Sr. was a magistrate and a merchant in PWCo.  He married Mary Frances Lynn, the daughter of Benson Lynn.  Yes, that's right -- yet another cemetery with a Lynn connection.  Not too surprising, really.  The Lynn clan owned quite a lot of farmland in Independent Hill in the mid-1800's.  But are those resting in this cemetery Lynn/Norman kin -- or another family altogether?


Prince William Public Works and the Coles District Volunteer Fire and Rescue Station have posted a Notice on the PWCo Government's website seeking the Public's help.  Anyone with information about the identity of the cemetery is asked to contact Matthew Corneliussen (703-792-5296) or Lou Ann Dorrier (703-792-6674).

Following is the full text, with a link to the Prince William County Government website:

There’s an abandoned cemetery near the Coles District Volunteer Fire and Rescue Station with graves that have been left unmarked over time, and the Prince William Public Works Department needs help in identifying who might be buried there.

“First and foremost, what we want to do is identify who’s in the cemetery,” said Matthew Corneliussen, an engineer with the Facilities Construction Management division of the County’s Public Works Department. “We’re just looking to find family members of people who may be buried there.”

From the gravestones that remain at the cemetery, Public Works officials have determined that they are looking for people who might know anything about the Norman or Tinsill families in particular, or anyone who might know something about the graveyard generally. “We’re sort of putting a call out for anybody who knows any information about the cemetery,” Corneliussen said. “Through courthouse records and genealogy records, there’s potential that there may be additional families. That’s why we’re hoping that if anyone knows anything about it, they’ll come forward and share that information with us.”

The little graveyard with 12 to 14 graves isn’t unknown to people, Corneliussen said. The Prince William Historic Commission examined and documented the site about 20 years ago. There are a few headstones and footstones to attest to some of the burial plots, but indentations in the ground indicate that there are also other graves in the cemetery.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Matthew Corneliussen at 703-792-5296 or Lou Ann Dorrier at 703-792-6674.

The cemetery is located near the site where the new Coles District Volunteer Fire and Rescue Station is scheduled to be completed by late 2015.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Current Affairs: Virginia House Bill 997 APPROVED!

In an earlier post, I mentioned that one of the most positive things to come out of the turmoil caused by the discovery and subsequent removal of the graves at the PWCo 12th High School construction site was Delegate Richard L. Anderson's House Bill #997 ("Proceedings for the Removal and Relocation of Human Remains").  

In summary, HB 997 "strengthens the requirements for disinterment and relocation of human remains from a cemetery or graveyard by the landowner by requiring the institution of legal proceedings, heightened notice requirements to any heirs or descendants, and notice to the Department of Historic Resources and any local historical commission or organization."

I am pleased to report that the Bill passed both House and Senate, and the Governor has signed HB 997 into Virginia law!  

Many thanks to Delegate Anderson, his staff, and all those behind the scenes who contributed to the drafting and support of HB 997!

An Act to amend and reenact §§ 57-36 and 57-38.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to cemeteries; procedure for the removal and relocation of human remains.
[H 997]

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That §§ 57-36 and 57-38.1 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 57-36. Abandoned graveyards may be condemned; removal of bodies.

A. When a graveyard, wholly or partly within any county, city, or town, has been abandoned, or is unused and neglected by the owners, and such graveyard is necessary, in whole or in part, for public purposes, authorized by the charter of such city or town, or by the general statutes providing for the government of counties, cities, and towns, such county, city, or town may acquire title to such burying ground by condemnation proceedings, to be instituted and conducted in the manner and mode prescribed in the statutes providing for the exercise of the power of eminent domain by counties, cities, and towns. The locality may continue to maintain all or a portion of the burying ground as a graveyard.

B. The court taking jurisdiction of the case may, in its discretion, require the county, city, or town to acquire the whole burying ground, in which event the county, city, or town may use such part thereof as may be necessary for its purposes and sell the residue. The court, however, shall direct that the remains interred in such graveyard, if possible so to do, be removed to some repository used and maintained as a cemetery.

C. Should any county, city, or town, having acquired by any means land on which an abandoned graveyard is located, including lands acquired in accordance with § 22.1-126.1 for educational purposes, initiate plans to use that land for purposes other than to maintain the graveyard, such county, city, or town shall, prior to completion of said plans, develop and engage in active public notice and participation regarding efforts to avoid adverse impacts to the graveyard or to remove the remains interred in such graveyard to an alternative repository. Such public notice and participation shall include, at minimum, publication of at least one notice in a local newspaper of general circulation, notice posted at the site of the graveyard, and notice to and consultation with any historic preservation or other such commission, as well as area historical and genealogical societies, and at least one public hearing. The locality shall make a good faith effort to identify and contact living descendants of the persons buried in the graveyard, if known. In addition, the locality is encouraged to post such notice on the Internet, including appropriate websites and through the use of social media, and to consult with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Having given all public comment due consideration, the county, city, or town is encouraged first to adjust plans to maintain the graveyard as part of the larger land use plan or, if that is not feasible, to request permission to proceed with removal through the court or through the Virginia Department of Historic Resources should archaeological removal be appropriate. In any event, any removal of remains should be given all due care and respect, as should the selection of and reburial in another cemetery. This requirement for public notice, consultation, consideration of comments, and following due process for removal of human remains shall apply in cases where the presence of an abandoned graveyard is discovered during either the planning or construction phases of a project.

D. Any county, city, or town that has acquired by any means land on which an abandoned cemetery or gravesite of Virginians held as slaves at the time of their deaths is located shall notify the Virginia Department of Historic Resources of the location of such cemetery or gravesite. The Department shall record the location of the cemetery or gravesite. A listing of the locations of all abandoned cemeteries and gravesites of Virginians held as slaves at the time of their deaths that have been provided to the Department shall be maintained by the Department as a public record.

§ 57-38.1. Proceedings by landowner for removal of remains from abandoned family graveyard.

The owner of any land on which is located an abandoned family graveyard, and there has been no reservation of rights in such graveyard, or when the beneficiaries of any reservations of rights desire to waive such rights, and in which no body has been interred for twenty-five years may file a bill in equity in the circuit court of the county or in the circuit or corporation court wherein such land is located for the purpose of having the remains interred in such graveyard removed to some more suitable repository. To such bill all persons in interest, known or unknown, other than the plaintiffs shall be duly made defendants. If any of such parties be unknown, publication shall be had the plaintiffs shall undertake active, good faith efforts to locate interested parties including, at a minimum, publication of at least one notice in a local newspaper of general circulation, notice posted at the site of the graveyard, and notice to and consultation with any historic preservation or other such commission, as well as area historical and genealogical societies. In addition, the plaintiff is encouraged to post such notice on the Internet, including appropriate websites and through the use of social media, and to consult with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Upon the case being properly matured for hearing, and proof being made of the propriety of the removal, the court may order the removal made and the remains properly deposited in another place, at the expense of the petitioner. Such removal and reinterment shall be done with due care and decency.

In determining the question of removal the court shall consider the historical significance of such graveyard and shall consider as well the wishes of the parties concerned so far as they are brought to its knowledge, including the desire of any beneficiaries of any reservation of rights to waive such reservation of rights in favor of removal, and so considering shall exercise a sound discretion in granting or refusing the relief prayed for.