Friday, August 30, 2013

Friend of Friends Friday: Reuben Hawkins

Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, VA)
May 8, 1875

DEATH OF A NOTED COLORED MAN. -- Reuben Hawkins, who died in this village on Thursday, the 6th inst., after an illness of a couple of weeks, was one whose demise deserves more than a passing notice.  Belonging to the Thornton family of Prince William, he, at the outbreak of the war, followed the fortunes of his master, Major W. W. Thornton, in the capacity of cook, and relieved the hunger and assuaged the thirst of many a soldier of the 'Lost Cause,' both upon the weary march and in the tented field.  From his unfailing good-humor, his cheerfulness under all discouragements, and his fidelity to the flag he served, he soon became a general favorite not only with the privates, but also with those high in command.  Early, Ewell, Van Dorn and others knew and appreciated him, and his soubriquet of "Major" was given him as a testimonial of his worth, and by it he was been generally known.  Many are the anecdotes and reminiscenses narrated of him, but time and space forbid their introduction here.  At the close of the war he settled in this place, where he resided until his decease.  With him as departed another of those ties which bound the living present to the dead past; a link of the chain has been broken that connected the Virginia that was to the Virginia that is: a land mark swept away by remorseless death, that kept green and living the memories of bygone years.  --Manassas Gazette

Alexandria Gazette - May 8, 1875

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thriller Thursday: Victim a One-Armed Man

Harrisonburg Daily News (Harrisonburg, VA)
April 27, 1910

KILLED WITH ONE-INCH BLADE - Victim a One-Armed Man and Assailant Says Self-Defense

Manassas, Va., April 25. - Acting, as he claims, in self defense, Harry Thorpe, 30 years old, stabbed David Carter, 35 years old, to death with a penknife of which the blade used is but an inch in length.

The trouble occurred at a tenant house on the farm of T. N. Depauw near Haymarket.  Carter had but one hand, having a large hook suspended from the elbow, and Thorpe says the former attacked him, trying to strike him with the heavy hook.  Thorpe fled, was pursued and pressed, and drew the knife, stabbing his assailant just above the thigh severing a large artery, which caused the death of the man in a few moments, before medical aid could arrive.

Thorpe is in jail awaiting a hearing.

Harrisonburg Daily News
April 27, 1910

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

September Events at PWCo Historic Sites

September Programs with Prince William County Historic Preservation

September 7-8
WWII Weekend
11am – 4pm; Free
Admiral Black the last owner of Rippon Lodge was a WWII veteran and survivor of Pearl Harbor.  Learn about daily life of soldiers in the European and Pacific Theatres. World War II living historians will portray Axis and Allied soldiers. They will discuss their equipment, armaments and historic military vehicles. Learn about the home front and the many ways that citizens supported the war effort. View collections of original WWII artifacts.
** Saturday Special Event:  Book Signing and Author Talks.  Authors include John Gordon, Christopher Hamner, Stephen Rusiecki, Tom Hone, Robert Dorr, Kathleen Kinsolving
** Sunday Special Event:  Meet Molly from the American Girl Doll Series.  Tour the house will Molly and her friends and learn about life on the home front from the kids point of view
Rippon Lodge Historic Site, 15520 Blackburn RoadWoodbridgeVA. 703-499-9812

September 7
Herbs Through Thyme:  Historic Foodways of the 19th Century                    
11 a.m. – 2 p.m., $30 per person, space is limited, reservations required                                           
Come experience a new way of learning and enjoying history!  The food of the past was very different depending on where you lived and your social class.  You will be able to enjoy recipes of food that was popular in the 19th century among plantation owners in the “big house” and also the slaves and servants in the slave quarters.  Program includes food, drink, historic commentary and tour. 
Ben Lomond Historic Site, 10321 Sudley Manor Dr.ManassasVA 20109703-367-7872.

September 14, 15, 28, 29                                                                               
Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park Guided Tours                                                     
11am - 3pm, tours leave on the hour, donations accepted                                             
Bristoe Station Battlefield staff and volunteers will provide guided tours of the battlefield. Learn about Camp Jones and the two battles that took place here in 1862 and 1863. Tours begin on the hour and depart from the kiosk in the parking lot on Iron Brigade Unit Avenue. Last tour at         3pm.  Please dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. No pets please.  Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park, The parking lot is located off of Iron Brigade Unit Ave.BristowVA. (703) 366-3049.

September 14
Bluegrass at Brentsville
1pm - 5pm; $10 per person, $5 PWC employees with ID, children free under six
Enjoy the lively sounds of bluegrass bands on the grounds of Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre.  Music will be held from 1-5pm with additional activities on the grounds.  Buildings will be open for tours and food available for purchase.
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre 12229 Bristow Rd.BristowVA. 703-365-7895

Nature Trail Walk
1pm; $5 per person, free for children under six
Take a guided tour along the nature trails at Brentsville and learn about the plants and animals that call this part of Virginia home.
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre 12229 Bristow Rd.BristowVA. 703-365-7895

September 22
Victorian Sundays
11am; FREE
On Sundays in Victorian America, it would not be hard to find the citizens of cities and towns.  They were worshiping and fellowshipping at the community church.  Join us atBrentsville Courthouse Historic Center’s Union Church for a unique program that focuses on 19th Century worship practices and church centered activities.  The program is conducted by Historic Faith Ministries, a volunteer community group. 
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre 12229 Bristow Rd.BristowVA. 703-365-7895

September 28-29
PWC Farm Tour
10am - 4pm Saturday12-4pm Sunday; Free
Join site staff as we learn about farm life here in Brentsville and PWC during the mid-1800s.  Tour the 1850s cabin and feed chickens and other animals.  Help make apple butter and try a sample!  Historic games will also be played throughout the day.
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre 12229 Bristow Rd.BristowVA. 703-365-7895

Ben Lomond Heritage and Farming Festival                                                                                     
11am - 4pm; Free
Join us at Ben Lomond as we celebrate the local area’s farming heritage.  Living history demonstrations will highlight Ben Lomond’s vast history.  Demonstrations include a Civil War encampment, 19th century laundry, dairy production, historic gardening, music and taste various foods from Ben Lomond’s history.  Program part of the Prince William Farm Tour.       
 Ben Lomond Historic Site, 10321 Sudley Manor Dr.ManassasVA. 703-367-7872

For More information About Prince William County Historic Preservation

Will: Sukey Payne (1819)

Prince William County Will Book L. pg. 302
13 Mar 1819; proved 04 Oct 1819

In the name of God Amen Be it remembered that I SUKEY PAYNE of the County of Prince William and Commonwealth of Virginia being weak in body but of sound mind and memory thanking God for the same, do publish this writing as my last will and testament.  First it is my desire that all my just debts may be paid.  Secondly I give and bequeath unto LUCY PAYNE (alias) WILLIAMS daughter of my son THOMAS PAYNE and her heirs forever all the stock I may be possessed of at the time of my decease consisting of horses cows hogs and sheep together with the plantation & utensils of every description.  In witness whereof I’ve hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 13th day of March 1819.


Sign’d publish’d and declar’d by SUKEY PAYNE as her last will & testament in presence of

At a Court held for Prince William County October 4th, 1819

This last will and testament of SUKEY PAYNE decd was presented to the Court and being proved by the oaths of WILLIAM NELSON and THORNTON MONJOY is ordered to be recorded.

Teste,  PHIL. D. DAWE

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: William T. Wharton

Richmond Times Dispatch 
October 14, 1917

Manassas, Va., October 13. -- William T. Wharton, a Confederate veteran, died on Tuesday at Gainesville, Prince William County, at the age of eighty-six years.  He was a member of the Masonic lodge, and was well known throughout the county as one of its oldest magistrates.  Funeral services were conducted at his home by Rev. C. K. Millican, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and interment was made at the Shirley Burying Ground.  He is survived by his wife formerly Miss Mary C. Shirley, who is eighty-two years old.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Marriages Notices from Sources Outside PWCo

Philadelphia Inquirer – May 31, 1896 – MARRIED, Cather-Wheeler – on the 20th inst., at Hazelplain Farm, Prince William county, Va., by Rev. Andrew Cather, Mary Emma Cather to James Davenport Wheeler.

Baltimore Sun – September 28, 1899 – TAYLOR-SPINDLE. Fredericksburg, Va., Sept. 27 – Mr. Robert B. Taylor, of Prince William county, and Mrs. Mary Alice Spindle, of Caroline county, were married here today at the Methodist parsonage, Rev. J. P. Stump officiating.

Baltimore Sun – August 27 1907 – CLINE-KEYS – Fredericksburg, Va., Aug. 26 – Miss Annie Gertrude Keys, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Keys, of Prince William county, and Dr. T. C. Cline, of Dumfries, were married at the home of the bride's parents, Rev. A. J. Cummings officiating. The couple left on a bridal tour for the Jamestown Exposition. They will reside at Dumfries.

Baltimore American – April 20, 1911 – Latham-Latimer. [Special to the American] Hyattesville, Md., April 19 – In Pinkney Memorial Church here this evening Miss Laura Edyth Latimer, daughter of the late James Latimer, of Charles county, Md. And Mrs. Mary L. Latimer, of Oaklawn, this place, became the wife of William Carroll Latham, of Hickory Grove, Prince William county, Va. The church was beautifully decorated with flowers. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Henry Thomas, rector of St. Matthew's Parish. The bride was attended by miss Ethel Gwynn of Laurel, Prince Georges county, and the best man was Henry Latham, brother of the bridegroom. The ushers were Dr. Thomas E. and James Latimer, brothers of the bride, and the Messrs. Ish, cousins of the bridegroom. The bride was given away by her brother, Dr. Guy W. Latimer of Hyattsville. Mr. and Mrs. Latham will reside at Hickory Grove, Va., where the bridegroom conducts a large stock farm.

Baltimore Sun – June 10, 1913 – Fredericksburg, Va – The marriage of Russel H. Willis of Roanoke to Miss Bessie B. Brower, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Brower, of Prince William county, will take place Wednesday evening at St. Paul's Episcopal Church at Haymarket, Prince William County.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday's Child: Damewood / Dunnington / Latimer / Washington

Alexandria Gazette – November 10, 1832 – DIED, In Dumfries, Va., after a long and painful illness, in the 10th year of his age, Francis H. Dunnington, of that place. The death of this promising child has left a void in the heart of his mother that time nor the things of this world can never fill.

Alexandria Gazette – July 8, 1842 – On Wednesday, the 22d ult., James H. Latimer, youngest son of Samuel and Charlotte A. Latimer, of Prince William County, Virginia, aged eleven months. The parents mourn the loss of an interesting child, but they have this comfortable assurance, that their loss is his eternal gain; for Christ said: “Suffer little Children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven.”

Alexandria Gazette – August 11, 1873 – After a severe illness of two days, on the 15th ultimo, in the 9th month of her age, Camelia Lee Washington, infant daughter of William T. and Fannie V. Washington, at Park Gate, their residence, in Prince William co.

Alexandria Gazette – April 17, 1875 – Arthur Damewood, a little ten year old son of Wm. Damewood, living near Groveton, in the upper part of Prince William, was instantly killed on Saturday last by the explosion of an old shell which he was rolling about the yard. It is said the poor little fellow's entrails were entirely torn out, and his body was terribly mangled.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Rufus B. Merchant

RUFUS B. MERCHANT was born in Dumfries, Prince William County, Virginia.  A Civil War veteran, he founded the Fredericksburg Star newspaper.

Fredericksburg City Cemetery, Fredericksburg, VA
Photo by Carolyn G. Lynn
Evening Star (Washington, DC)
October 7, 1905
Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, GA)
October 20, 1905

Monday, August 19, 2013

Will: James Arnold (1870)

James Arnold Will
Will Book S, pg. 61

State of Virginia
Prince William County

This being my last will and testament and I being now in sound mind first it is my will that all my property personal and real shall be sold and my debts paid, and after paying my debts the balance that is left after paying my debts is to be divided equally among my children, and I appoint John Keys administrator of my estate. March 10th, 1870

James {X his mark} Arnold {seal}

A.F. David (?)
Montraville Cornwall

In Prince William County Court August 5th 1872

The last will and testament of Jas. Arnold was this day presented to the court & being proved by the oath of A.F. David and Montraville Cornwall subscribing witnesses thereto it is ordered to be recorded, and a motion of John Keys who made oath thereto together with Henry Keys and William Payne his securities who justified as to their sufficiency entered into and acknowledged a bond with a penalty of $200.00 conditioned as the law directs. Certificate is granted to the said John Keys for obtaining letters testamentary upon the estate of the said James Arnold with his will aforesaid annexed in due form.

Teste, L. A. Davis clerk

Will of James Arnold
PWCo Will Book S, page 61

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friend of Friends Friday: Statement of Sale

Exhibit B in the Chancery case of Adm. Of Hezekiah Fairfax etc. v. Margaret Fairfax, Widow (1858) (LVA Index No. 1858-001) is an “Statement of the sale of slave John" (also referenced in the Deed from Hezekiah Fairfax to William Fairfax).

~ ~ ~


Statement of the sale of slave John, mentioned in the deed from Hezekiah Fairfax decd. To Wm. Fairfax, who ran away from the latter on 1 September 1838, and was sold on the 12th of the same month – with the expenses and charges attending his pursuit and taking up – per statement on oath of Samuel Tansill taken at instance of Fra. C. Davis the Plaintiff in this suit.


Doll Ct
Doll Ct
Sept. 12
Amt. for which John was sold by Saml. Tansill as agent for Wm. Fairfax on this day per his statement


Paid by same for taking John up per do [ditto]

Other expenses attending the taking John up per do

Balance after deducting charges and expenses of pursuing and taking up John as above stated


Balance of purchase money of John after deducting above


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wednesday's Child: Chapman / Varner / Weir

Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, VA) - September 6, 1823 - DIED, at the residence of George Chapman, Esq., in Prince William County, Va., on the 1st inst. the infant daughter of John G. Chapman, Esq., of Charles County, Md. aged 5 days.

Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, DC) - August 21, 1856 - DEATH. On the 16th instant, at the residence of Mrs. C. A. Latimer, Prince William county, Virginia, Harriet Cecelia, aged one year and four months, only child of Wm. T. and Rebecca M. Weir.

Harrisonburg Daily News (Harrisonburg, VA) - April 1, 1910 - Child Dies of Whooping Cough.  Mary Varner, five years old, died Monday of whooping cough and pneumonia at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Varner at Nokesville, Prince William county.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Pearl Fair

Photo by Carolyn G. Lynn
Pearl Fair
Aug 18, 1896
July 31, 1908

Pearl Fair was the daughter of Charles W. and Adelia Fair.  She appears on the 1900 census with her parents and siblings.  The Fair family cemetery, long abandoned, can be found on either side of Rustic Woods Court.  The cemetery was bisected by the road when the subdivision was built.  There are numerous field stones scattered throughout the woods indicating many burials, but Pearl Fair's marker is the only inscribed stone clearly visible from the road.  (It is heartening to note that the cemetery is being cared for by one of the property owners in the subdivision.)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Obituaries Printed Outside PWCo

Farmers Repository (Charlestown, WV) - July 7, 1809 ~ DIED, on the 25th ult. of a cancer in his face, Beniah Willett, late merchant at Occoquan.  By his death society is deprived of as honest a man as ever lived.  ~ Alex. paper.

Baltimore Patriot (Baltimore, MD) - June 13, 1822 ~ On Wednesday evening, the 5th inst. in Prince William county, Va. of a lingering consumption, Mrs. Grace Ann Blagrove, wife of Mr. Henry B. Blagrove, Printer, in the 26th year of her age.  She has left a husband and two infant children to mourn their irreparable loss.

Salem Gazette (Salem, MA) - September 20, 1825 ~ At Hazle Plain, Prince William county, Virginia, on the 28th ultimo, Bernard Hooe, senr. Esq. in the 86th yar of his age.

Spectator (New York) - May 18, 1830 ~ [DIED] In Prince William county, Frances Ann Walker, 21.

Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, DC) - May 30, 1830 ~ At Cedar Hill, the residence of his mother, in Prince William county, Virginia, on the 15th of April, William L. Scott, in the 28th year of his age, formerly Merchant of Alexandria.

Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, DC) - December 18, 1833 ~ At the residence of Wm. R. Buck, near Port Gibson, on the 17th instant., John W. Green, a native of Prince William County, Va.

Richmond Whig (Richmond, VA) - September 23, 1834 ~ On Thursday, the 11th inst., after a protracted and painful illness, Mrs. Maria M. G. Hooe, consort of Col. John Hooe, of Locust Grove, Prince William County.

Sun (Baltimore, MD) - May 29, 1837 ~ At her residence, in Prince William County, Va. on the 21st inst. Mrs. Elizabeth Foster, aged 83 years.

Daily National Intelligencer (DC) - June 29, 1840 ~ At the residence of Mr. Thos. W. Hughlett, Northumland county, Virginia, on Thursday morning, the 21st of May, in the 36th year of her age, Mrs. Eliza Henry, consort of Dr. Edward H. Henry, and daughter of John Fitzhugh, Esq. of Prince William county, Va.

Sun (Baltimore, MD) - March 9, 1846 ~ In Prince William county, Va. on the 21st ult. in the 24th year of her age, Mrs. Frances Ann, consort of Lieut. Robert Tansill of the U.S. Marine corps.

Daily National Intelligencer (DC) - April 20, 1852 ~ Near Brentsville, Prince William, Virginia, in the 77th year of her age, Mrs. Elizabeth Sexsmith, a native of Virginia, and for many years a resident of this city.

Daily National Intelligencer (DC) - March 17, 1853 ~ At Neabsco, Prince William county, Virginia, on the 4th instant, in the 81st yar of her age, Mrs. Araminta Montgomery Kankey, widow of the late Rev. Zebulon Kankey, of that county.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Will: Thomas Rolls (1818)

Prince William County Will Book L, pg 218
27 May 1818; proved 06 Jul 1818

I THOMAS ROLLS of the County of Prince William & State of Virginia being sick of body but of sound and disposing memory and knowing the certainty of death and the uncertainty of life do make this my last will and testament in manner and form following that is to say 1st I give to my wife FANNY ROLLS one bed with all its furniture also one of my best pots & hooks to be enjoyed by her during her natural life and at her death to be divided equally among my children WILLIAM NANCY & FANNY.  2nd I give to my daughter NANCY ROLLS one redd no horned cow one feather bed and furniture, one loom with all its gear one black walnut chest one pott & hooks and one third part of my hoggs to be enjoyed by her and her heirs forever.  3rd I give to my daughter FANNY ROLLS one redd cow and her yearling and feather bed and furniture one poplar chest one iron pott and hooks also one other third part of my stock of hoggs to her and her heirs forever.  4th I give to my son WILLIAM ROLLS one red cow and sorell horse saddle & bridle one shot gun and other third part of my stock of hoggs one ____ and all my wearing apparel of whatever kind to be enjoyed by him during his natural life and at his death to be divided between my daughters NANCY & FANNY on condition that he never has any lawful heirs.  In that case they can have no legal claim to it.  5th I will and desire that after my death my Executrix to be herein after named do sell all the residue of my estate not specially devised, and out of the proceeds of sale pay to my sons JOHN & JACOB ROLLS also my daughters SARAH ROLLS one dollar each and also all my just debts and funeral expenses and the balance of such sales if any to be equally divided between my two daughters NANCY & FANNY and my son WILLIAM ROLLS to be enjoyed by them and their heirs forever, and lastly I do hereby constitute my daughter NANCY ROLLS my Executrix of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all other or former wills or testaments by me heretofore made.  In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 27th day of May 1818.

THOS. ROLLS  {seal}

Signed sealed published and declared as and for the last will and testament of the within named Thomas Rolls

At a Court held for Prince William County  July 6th 1818

This last will and testament of THOS. ROLLS decd. was presented to the Court and being proved by the oath of WM. R. CHAPMAN is ordered to be recorded and FANNY ROLLS widow of THOMAS ROLLS decd. came into Court & renounced the provisions contained for her in the last will and testament of the said THOMAS MROLLS decd., and on the motion of NANCY ROLLS and FANNY ROLLS it is ordered that GERARD ALEXANDER Sheriff of the County do take into his possession the Estate of THOMAS ROLLS decd. and administer the former according to law.

Teste, PHIL. D. DAWE

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friend of Friends Friday: Account of Hires and Profits

One part of Exhibit A in the Chancery case of Adm. Of Hezekiah Fairfax etc. v. Margaret Fairfax, Widow (1858) (LVA Index No. 1858-001) is an “Account of the hires and profits of the slaves mentioned in the Deed from Hezekiah Fairfax to William Fairfax."

~ ~ ~


“Account of the hires and profits” of the slaves mentioned in the deed from Hezekiah Fairfax dec. to William Fairfax, from the death of said Hezekiah on, say, the 10th of October 1837, to the 1st of June, 1839, when it appear they were surrendered to the Plaintiff Davis, excepting John who ran away and was sold in Sept. 1838.


Dolls. Cts.
June 1
1. hires and profits of Marion from 10 Oct. 1837 to 1 June 1839 – 1 yr. 7 mos. 20 days - @ $30 per annum on an average of that period

2. Do [ditto] of Hal “ @ $125

3. Do [of] Ally “ @ $14

4. Do [of] Cassey (& child) “ @ $19

5. Do [of] Dilly “ @ $30

6. Do [of] Cynthia “ @ $30

7 Do [of] Priscilla “ @ $30

8. Do [of] Betsey “ @ $17

9. Do “ John from 10 Oct. 1837 to 1 of Sept. 1838, when it appears he run away from Deft. [defendant] Wm. Fairfax – 10 mos. 20 days @ $75

Total amount of “hires and profits” – to carry interest on $66.66 from 1st of September 1838, and on the balance from this date

This sum agreed to be deducted by [---]


Note – It appears that Hannah with her child Rose – Old Betty – Old Caty – who were of the slaves mentioned in the deed above referenced to, have been worth their victuals and clothes during the period of 1 yr. 7 mos. & 20 days above mentioned.

Exhibit A - Fairfax v. Fairfax
LVA Chancery Index No. 1858-001

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thriller Thursday: The Fair Family

'Thriller Thursday' is a blogging prompt suggested by Geneabloggers, highlighting "murders, bizarre accidents or other thrilling stories" in family history.

In Prince William County, there may not be a more bizarre and tragic turn of events than those that plagued the Fair Family.  To quote the subheading of the newspaper account below, the Fair story is a tale of "wrecked homes, black fratricide, murders, suicides, and kindred disasters ... [that] would sound cheap in fiction, but these are the sordid facts."

The following was published on February 27, 1910 in the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Richmond Times-Dispatch (Richmond, VA)
February 27, 1910

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Save the Date! October 12-14, 2013 -- 150th Commemoration of the Battle of Bristoe Station

Wednesday's Child: Johnson Infants

Clover Hill Farm Cemetery
Manassas, Virginia

Photo by Carolyn G. Lynn

Infant Son
of J.B. & F.S.
March 20, 1895

Photo by Carolyn G. Lynn

Infant Son of
J.S. [&] E.E. Johnson
died July 28th