Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Will: John Athey (1866)

Prince William County Will Book R, Pg. 36
February 1866; proved 5 March 1866

I JOHN ATHEY being feeble in body but of sound and dispossessing memory do make this last will and testament, that is to say

I give and bequeath to my sister PALINA TURNER two hundred and fifty dollars ($250)

I give and bequeath to my sister JANE HAMMILL one hundred dollars (4100)

I give and bequeath to my niece HANNAH ANN WEST seventy five dollars ($75)

I give and bequeath to my niece ELIZABETH HAMMILL seventy five dollars ($75)

I give and bequeath to my niece SUSAN PENN two hundred and fifty dollars ($250)

I give and bequeath to my niece CATHARINE MCCARTY two hundred dollars ($200)

I give and bequeath to my nephew WILLIAM HAISLIP my gold watch

I give and bequeath to my nephew WILLIAM HAMMILL the gold watch I now use

I give and bequeath to HUGH HAMMILL all the remainder of my property of every description and kind, and do hereby appoint him my Executor. In testimony thereof I hereunto set my hand and seal this 9th day of February 1866

John [his mark] Athey {seal}

Signed and acknowledged in our presence


In Prince William County Court March 5 1866

This last will and testament of John Athey deceased was presented to the court by Hugh Hammill the executor therein named, who made oath thereto according to law and being fully proved by the oaths of Basil Brawner and Milton A. Ish subscribing witnesses thereto is ordered to be recorded and the said Hugh Hammill having taken the oath of an executor, and entered into bond in the penalty of two thousand dollars with Basil Brawner and JOHN CL WEEDON who justified as to their sufficiency conditioned as the law directs letters testamentary of the personal estate of said deceased is granted to him in due form.

A copy of my teste

M. B. SINCLAIR, clerk

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday's Obituary: Capt. Albert J., Fair

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
6 June 1910

The funeral of Capt. Albert J. Fair, whose death occurred at 7 o'clock yesterday morning, will be held at 4 o'clock tomorrow afternoon from his home, 123 Wolfe street.  Rev. J. R. Sevier, pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church, and Rev. Edgar Carpenter, rector of Grace P. E. Church, will conduct the services.  Burial will be in Methodist Protestant cemetery. Members of Potomac Lodge, No. 38, Order of Odd Fellows, of which organization the deceased was a member, will attend the funeral.

Capt. Fair was one of the most widely known river men in the city, and was seventy-six years old. He leaves a wife. He was born in Brentsville, Prince William county, Va., and most of his life he spent on the river on sailing and steam vessels, having been captain of a number of river steamers, among them the Guy, Mystic and the old City of Alexandria. For twenty years he was captain of the Baltimore and Ohio tug Brewerton, which convoyed the railroad barge between this city and Shepherd's Landing, on the opposite side of the river.  Capt. Fair's death followed a lingering illness from a cancerous affection of the face.  Owing to ill health and declining years he retired several years ago.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friend of Friends Friday: Chloe Ashby

Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, NJ)
12 August 1884


Washington, Aug. 12 -- A colored woman named Chloe Ashby died in this city yesterday, who is said to have been 116 years old.  Her relatives say that she was born in 1768 on the farm of Gen. Henderson in Dumfries, Va., and that she lived as a slave until 1851, when she purchased her freedom.  She was the mother of seven children, two of whom survive her -- sons aged 79 and 71 respectively.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Newspaper Tidbit: Manassas Item (1917)

11 November 1917
Richmond Times Dispatch

MANASSAS, Va., November 10 -- Manassas Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, meet at the chapter hall Wednesday afternoon.

A meeting of the Manassas Chapter of the American Red Cross was held at the town hall Monday evening, George G. Tyler presiding.

Lieutenant Everett L. Rice, of Fort Hamilton, N.Y., is visiting his mother, Mrs. W. M. Rice.

Mrs. Wade Carmack, of Bristol, Tenn, during the week was the guest of Mrs. Jacob L. Harrell.

Mrs. C. E. Nash is the guest of her daughters, Mrs. George Berger Cocke and Mrs. Robert W. Adamson, in Petersburg.

Mr. and Mrs. W. N. Lipscomb have had as their guests their son and Mr. Lipscomb's brother, W. Harold Lipscomb of New York City, and Charles E. Lipscomb, of Plainsfield, N.J.

Miss Margaret Worthington, of Charles Town, W. Va., spent the week in Manassas as the guest of Miss Isabel Kelley, while conducting Bible study classes under the auspices of the Gypsy Smith Prayer Circle.

Mrs. Clarence L. Hickerson of Rockville, Md. and Mrs. W. P. Rudasill of Culpeper were recent guests of Mr .and Mr.s D. J. Arrington.

Mr. and Mrs. Newman Walker, of Pittsburgh, Pa., recently visited Mr. Walker's father, W. J. Walker.  Mr. Walker and his bride made the trip to Manassas by automobile.

John T. Debell and his sister, Miss Tillie DeBell, have returned from Washington, where they paid a short visit to their brother, Lieutenant Arthur W. DeBell, medical corps., United States Army, who was traveling north from Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Will: Mary Ralls (1804)

Prince William County Will Book I, pg. 35
19 Apr 1803; proved 3 Sept 1804

In the name of God Amen, I MARY RALLS of Prince William County and State of Virginia being sick of body but sound in mind do make and declare this my last will & testament in manner and form as followeth to wit.

Item I give all and singular my effects which it has been pleas God to bless me with to my six grand children.  Daughters and sons of KENAZ RALLS aged as followeth.  ARTIMISIA BRONSON born 24th Feby 1786, JOSHUA EDWARD BRONIN RALLS 24th March 1790, JOHN HEBER BRONIN RALLS 28th Feby 1793, SALLEY WILSON BRONIN RALLS 1st Nov 1795; WM. CRAWFORD BRONIN RALLS 1st August 1798, KENAZ HARVEY BRONIN RALLS 1st Dec. 1800 one feather bed and furniture viz. all my wearing apparel of every kind &  it is my will and desire that the above named children shall have all and every part of the estate of my two sons HEBER RALLS and JOHN RALLS that may belong to them or me by the will or death of their father or by the will of their grand father or death or the death of any persons elses also it is my will and desire that the above named children shall have all what my son JOHN RALL left me by will or otherwise.  Lastly I appoint my son KENAZ RALLS my Executor to receive sue or otherwise as he may think best to collect what may belong to me or my two sons JOHN RALLS & HEBER RALLS its my desire that my Executor shall not be held to balk or any otherwise be answerable to any court or judg but shall proportion what he may receive among the above named six children.  Given under my hand this nineteenth day of April one thousand eight hundred and three.

MARY [her mark] RALLS  {seal}


The two words or me was interlined for signed. 


At a Court held for Prince William County Sept 3d. 1804

This last will and testament of MARY RALLS dec’d was proved by the oath of GEORGE L. CROSBY and ordered to be certified. 

And at a Court held for said County the 4th Day of Sept 1804

The last will and testament of MARY RALLS decd. was presented to the court by KENAZ RALLS Executor therein named who made oath to the same according to law and the said will being fully proved by the oath of BENJAMIN PAYNE was ordered to be recorded and the Testatrix having desired that her said Exor. Might not be forced to give security for the faithful performance of his Executorship, and the Court having examined Witnesses are of opinion that the said Testatrix died possessed of sufficient visible personal property to pay all her debts and the said Executor having taken the oath prescribed by law certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate thereof in due form.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Church Record Sunday: Newspaper Tidbits

Alexandria Gazette
28 September 1860

Resignation of a Pastor. -- The Rev. Jno. Towles, rector of St. Paul's Church, Leeds Parish, Prince William County, has resigned the charge of that parish and the parish of Dettinger in the same county.  A meeting of St. Paul's vestry was held on the 10th inst., on which occasion the letter of resignation having been read, resolutions of esteem for the retiring pastor, and of regret at the severing of pastoral relations were unanimously adopted.  The vestry of Dettinger have passed similar resolutions.

Alexandria Gazette
19 October 1866

MISSIONARY APPOINTMENT. -- At a meeting of the State Mission Board of the Baptist General Association of Virginia, held Monday afternoon in Richmond, the Rev. T. W. Newman, was appointed Missionary to Prince William county.

Alexandria Gazette
9 May 1867

Prince William County. -- Rev. H. Hyde, of Independent Hill, Prince William county, writes to the Home Missionary an appeal for Puritan emigration to Virginia, as the only means that can gain and save the South.  He describes his place, "in the heart of the nation, close to the national capital -- on the borders of the Potomac, with access by water to all the markets of the world -- with a rolling, well-watered, fertile soil, abounding in all the products of the forest, and near to those of the mine." Everything is as free, and as secure from damages, as in New England.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wednesday's Child: Edward Posey Merchant

Alexandria Gazette
28 October 1853

At Dumfries, October 13th, of billious dysentery, EDWARD POSEY MERCHANT, son of George W. and Sarah E. Merchant, aged 6 years, 1 month, and 17 days. It is said that "death leaves a shining mark." But in the death of this lovely and beautiful child, we may say, that the Good Shepherd loves to take to his heavenly fold, the sweetest lamb in teh flock, when he enters a family.

While the beauty, the habits, the conversation and loving disposition of little Edward endeared him to his parents and friends, all seemed to indicate that he was destined for an early removal; to bloom in a more genial clime,

Dear sorrowing parents, while you remember his love to you, his fear of the Lord, his respect for religion, his attendance on the Sabbath School, dry up your tears, Edward is safe, and while you try to follow him say with resignation,

"Lord he was thine, and not our own
Thou hast not done us wrong,
We thank thee for the precious loan
Afforded us so long."