Monday, September 30, 2013

Will: John Mills (1826)

Prince William County Will Book  M, pg 443
19 Jul 1826; proved 02 Oct 1826

In the name of God Amen I J. JOHN MILLS of the County and State of Virginia calling to mind the mortality of the body and that it is appointed for all men to die and after that the judgment (and being weak in body but in perfect mind and memory) do hereby make my last will and testament in manner & form following that is to say, 1st I desire that all my debts and also all those that have been credited by my son PEYTON MILLS for the benefit of the family, that is the several store accounts, doctors bills & which stand charged in his name and all other debts whether in notes or accounts, should be paid as speedily as possible out of the moneys due me, and should there not be enough collected for that purpose, he the sd. Peyton Mills will immediately make sale of some of my property to satisfy the same.  Secondly, after the payment of my debts & funeral expenses I give to my beloved wife MARGARET MILLS one third pat of my estate both real and personal for and during the term of her natural life, and after her decease, I give the same to my children hereinafter mentioned, equally to be divided among them, and to be enjoyed by them forever.  Thirdly I give to my wife, son and two daughters who now live with me all the provision now in my possession for their sustenance and also all the present crop growing upon my lands.  Viz. wheat, corn, oats, fruit and also they will make use of any part or parcel of my stock for the support of the family until the property can be sold & divided as I hereafter mention.  Fourthly I give to my daughters MARY MILLS & ANN MILLS (for their services rendered me) three hundred dollars each as an extra legacy and then the residue of my property, both real & personal, of what nature or kind not herein before particularly disposed of I desire may be sold at public auction for cash and the money to be equally divided amongst all my children, namely JANE SIMPSON, LYDIA SIMPSON, MARY MILLS, PEYTON MILLS, RUTH WOOD & ANN MILLS, to them and their heirs and lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my son Peyton Mils & my friend John S. Fairfax Executors of this my last will & testament hereby revoking all other or former wills or testaments by me heretofore made.  In Witness whereof I have set my hand and affixed my seal this nineteenth day of July one thousand eight hundred & twenty six.


Signed sealed published and declared as and for the last will and testament of the above named John Mills in presence of us,

At a Court held for Prince William County this 2nd day of October 1826.  This last will and testament of John Mills deceased was presented to the Court and being proved by the oaths of William Pearson, William B. Davis & Joseph King is ordered to be recorded and Peyton Mills & John S. Fairfax the Executors therein named came into Court and made oath to the same according to law, and having taken the oath of Executors and performed what is usual in such cases certificate is granted them for obtaining a probate thereof in due form.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Maria Louisa French

Richmond Whig
October 2, 1845

At Green Level, the residence of her mother, in Prince William county, Va., on Sunday the 12th inst., Maria Louisa, youngest daughter of the late William French, Esq., in the 20th year of her age, after a short and painful illness of less than four day.

Nothing that can be said, no power of the pen, can on such an occasion as this, contribute in the least degree to repair the wide breach, which this sudden and painful dispensation, has made in the family and social circle -- cutting off, as it has done, in the bloom of youth, one whose many graces of mind and person, endeared her to all who knew her.  As well might we attempt to "soothe the dull, cold ear of death," as the bitter anguish of the living now; but the writer of this who knew the interesting subject of this notice intimately "from the cradle to the grave" could not forego this melancholy tribute to her memory.  It may be truly said, that she was the beloved idol of her relations and friends, and their bleeding hearts bear the strongest testimony to her worth.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Friend of Friends: James Henry Mitchell

Richmond Enquirer (Richmond, VA)
October 6, 1856

MURDER. -- The negro man Jim, alias James Henry Mitchell, who murdered James T. Vermillion, of Fairfax county, on Tuesday last, whilst in the act of taking him before a magistrate (notice of which has been published by the Commonwealth's Attorney), was apprehended on Thursday, and committed to the jail of this county, to await his trial before a called Court to be held the ensuing week.  He is the property of Z. Brawner, of Prince William county, from whom he had absconded but a few days, when arrested by Vermillian, and, it appears, was at that time in pursuit of a reputed conjuror named Nelly (a negro woman), belonging to Mrs. Lee in the neighborhood, and by whose arts he expected to escape punishment for an offence commited in his own county.  He has made full confession of his guilt, and seems deeply penitent, alleging that he struck Vermillian, (with a fence stake), for the sole purpose of making his escape, not anticipating the result of the blow.  He is to be pitied, as his age (about twenty) would forbid the idea of his being hardened in crime.  We presume, however, that the law in so plain a case is stern and unbending.  Mr. V. recovered after receiving the blow, so as to be able to reach his dwelling on foot, about a mile -- he lived between five and six hours.  Upon examination after death, his skull was found to be fractured.

[Portsmouth Chronicle]

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thriller Thursday: Bumbrey/Green Murder

Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, MD)
April 10, 1905


Mary Bumbrey Accused of Poisoning Manassas Man

[Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun]

Washington, April 9 -- Mary Bumbrey, 26 years old, of Prince William county, Virginia, is locked up in the Second Precinct Station, charged with murder.  She was arrested last night by the local police, on advices from the police authorities of Prince William county.

It is alleged she administered poison to Reuben Green, colored, of Manassas, resulting in his death.  The local police authorities know nothing of the alleged crime, but will hold the woman pending the arrival of the Virginia authorities.

Green was poisoned by a dose of corrosive sublimate and died in agony.  Both Green and the Bumbrey girl were employed at the home of Mr. James Carr, near Bristow, and Green had been paying attention to the girl, but had become engaged to another, and was to have been married soon.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

October Events at PWCo Historic Sites

October Events withPrince William County Historic Preservation

October 5
Metz Wetlands/ Rippon Lodge Bird Walk and Bagels
8am; $10 per person, free for children under six
Our location along the edge of Neabsco Creek and the Potomac River makes Metz Wetlands and Rippon Lodge an attractive place for birds.  Join local birding experts on a guided walk of the grounds.  Discover our diverse population of song and raptor birds.  After the walk join us for bagels in the River Room.  Bring binoculars and guide books.   Please dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes.  No pets please.  Tours of the house are included.  Reservations required.  Tours begin in the parking lot at Metz Wetlands. 
Rippon Lodge Historic Site, 15520 Blackburn RoadWoodbridgeVA. 703-499-9812

October 5                                                                                                                         
Bristoe Station Campaign Bus Tour                                                                               
8am - 5pm, $80 a person, includes box lunch, reservations required                                             
 Enjoy a full day with an in-depth tour of the sites and battlefields that made up the Bristoe Campaign.  Stops will include:  Bristoe Station Battlefield, Buckland, Auburn and Remington. Historians will explain how this important campaign impacted soldiers, civilians and its overall impact on the outcome of the Civil War.  Contact Bristoe StationBattlefield Heritage Park(703) 366-3049 for reservations.

October 12
Nature Trail Walk
1pm; $5 per person, children free 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., Bristow, Va. 703-365-7895

October 12-13                                                                                                                            
Battle of Bristoe Station 150th Commemorative Weekend and Virginia History Mobile     
11am – 4pm, free, donations encouraged                                                                                   
To commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Bristoe Station, the park will offer living history demonstrations from lviing historians representing units that were at the battle in 1863.  Tours will be offered on the hour with historical talks, musical performances and a youth tent throughout the day.  The Virginia Civil War 150th History Mobile will be open to the public on Saturday.  This unique traveling Civil War exhibit is a great way to understand the impact of the Civil War and helps portray the role of Virginia in the Civil War.  Admission is free, but donations are encouraged to help support historic preservation in Prince William County.  Please park at the Bristow Shopping Center and a shuttle bus will be provided to the battlefield.
Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park, The parking lot is located off of Iron Brigade Unit Ave.BristowVA. 703-366-3049

October 12
Civil War Music Concert at Brentsville Union Church
7pm; FREE
Come enjoy a special 150th Anniversary Evening Concert. Civil War musicians Evergreen Shade will perform at the historic Brentsville Union Church! The duo will perform classic songs and hymns as well as many favorites from the time of the Civil War. History comes to life through music as they accompany themselves on 6 and 12 string guitars, banjo, dulcimer, and a variety of percussion instruments
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre 12229 Bristow Rd., Bristow, Va. 703-365-7895

October 14                                                                                                                     
150th Anniversary of the Battle of Bristoe Station Commemoration                                  
Program is free, donations encouraged                                                                               
Join Bristoe Station Battlefield Park staff on the 150th Anniversary of the battle for exclusive tours of the battlefield and sites outside of the Park.  Tours will take place “in historic time” of the events in 1863.  Tours include: Car caravan tour of sites outside of the ParkPrelude to Battle Walking TourIn the Footsteps of North Carolina Walking Tour and aMusical Tribute to the fallen at Bristoe Station.  Contact the park for tour times and details. 
Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park, The parking lot is located off of Iron Brigade Unit Ave.BristowVA 20136(703) 366-3049.

October 18 and 19
Ben Lomond Ghost Hunting 101                                                                                                                                          
7pm – 12am, $100 per person for seminar and investigation, $40 for just the seminar, reservations required                                                                                                                                                                  Ben Lomond has a diverse history from being a Civil War hospital to the home of countless slaves.  Today, many local residents claim that the house and grounds are haunted by spirits from the past.  Ben Lomond Historic Site is partnering with East Coast Research and Investigation of the Paranormal (ECRIP) to host two ghost seminars and investigations at Ben Lomond.  ECRIP is a local volunteer group of researchers who investigate claims of potential paranormal phenomena and educate interested parties about the paranormal by sharing collective research, experience, knowledge and theories. Participants will first attend a seminar in which various theories and techniques currently used in investigating paranormal activity will be discussed. Afterwards, participants will work alongside experienced paranormal investigators in conducting a paranormal investigation at Ben Lomond.    The seminar will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m., with the investigations being held from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. Space is limited for the investigation, so reservations are required. 
Ben Lomond Historic Site, 10321 Sudley Manor Dr.ManassasVA 20109703-367-7872

October 18, 2013
Spectral Stories at Historic Brentsville
7pm- 9pm; $5 per person, children free under six
Do you love scary movies and hearing ghost stories?  Join site staff for a fun filled evening spent around a campfire as you hear spooky stories about Historic Brentsville and other haunts in and around Prince William County.  Apple cider and cookies will be provided.
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre 12229 Bristow Rd., Bristow, Va. 703-365-7895

October 26
All Hallow’s Eve
11am – 4 pm; $5 per child, children under six free
Where did the tradition of Halloween come from?  Pumpkin carving? Trick-or-Treating? Join us for a kid friendly trip to All Hallow’s Eve past and present.  Play old fashioned games and enjoy traditional treats.  Scarecrows will be on display site wide. 
Rippon Lodge Historic Site, 15520 Blackburn RoadWoodbridge703-499-9812

October 25-26
Spirits of Rippon Lodge
6pm-9pm; $10 per person, reservations recommended. 
Rippon Lodge has a diverse history.  A 1930 account of the Lodge says, “the house is said to be haunted in such a ghostly and sinister fashion that no one will occupy it.”   Rumor has it that the course of Route 1 was altered to avoid its ghostly residents.  Come experience a unique opportunity to tour the house and grounds by candlelight, meet several historical characters along the way and hear their tales of sadness and triumph.
Rippon Lodge Historic Site, 15520 Blackburn RoadWoodbridge703-499-9812

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., Bristow, Va. 703-365-7895

For more information please

Tombstone Tuesday: Virginia Spittle

Manassas City Cemetery
Photo by Carolyn G. Lynn



January 1, 1829
Died April 1, 1885

She is not dead but sleepeth 
only to awaken on the day of 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Marital Monday: McDonald - Evstaphieve

Washington Post (Washington, DC)
October 13, 1899


Evening Wedding of Prominent Young People at Berryville

Berryville, Va., Oct. 12 - The marriage of Miss Nannie Gray McDonald, daughter of the late Capt. William N. McDonald and Mrs. Catherine S. McDonald, of this place, to Mr. Ellerty Leckie Evstaphieve, of Prince William County, Va., was solemnized this evening in Grace Episcopal Church.  The ceremony was performed by Rev. Arthur P. Gray, an uncle of the bride, assisted by Rev. Edward Wall, rector of Grace Church, and was witnessed by a large assemblage of society people.

Mr. Clarence Alexis Evstaphieve, of New York city, acted as best man, and the ushers were Messrs. Hugh N. McDonald, a brother of the bride, of York, Pa.; Harrison Tyler, of Fauquier County, Va.; R. Douglas Simms, and Dr. Selma M. Mason, of Washington; Walter Clerkson, of Haymarket, Va., and Blackburn Smith, of Berryville.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: John Walter Fairfax

Times-Dispatch (Richmond, VA)
March 23, 1908

Member of Longstreet's Staff Passes Away

Colonel John Walter Fairfax
Colonel John Walter Fairfax, who died yesterday at his residence, at Freestone, Prince William county, Va., after a long illness in the eightieth year of his age, was born in June 1828.  At an early age, Colonel Fairfax married Miss Mary Rogers of Loudoun county, and shortly thereafter purchased Oak Hill, the former home of President Monroe, from the latter's son-in-law, Mr. Gouverneur.  Here Colonel Fairfax resided until the close of the war, when he removed to Belle Grove, also in Loudoun county, and later he went to Freestone, which he inherited from his father, Henry Fairfax, of Dumfries.  At Freestone, Colonel Fairfax resided without intermission until his death.  Colonel Fairfax was a man of great personal charm and courage and of a most lovable character.  During the war Colonel Fairfax served with distinction on General Longstreet's staff, for whose military genius he had a high admiration.  Colonel Fairfax is survived by five children, the Hon. Henry Fairfax, who married Miss Eugenia Tennant, of Richmond; John W. Fairfax, Jr., unmarried; Hamilton R. Fairfax, who married Miss Elea nor Van Renneslear, of New York; Lindsay Fairfax, who married Miss Grace Bradford, of New York; and one daughter, Elizabeth Fairfax, who  married Col. Chas. G. Ayres, U.S.A.

Richmond Times-Dispatch
March 23, 1908

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friend of Friends Friday: Will of Ann Linton Nesbett (1817)

Prince William County Will Bk L, pg 93
10 Oct 1817; proved 01 Dec 1817

I ANN LINTON NESBETT of the County of Prince William do make the following my last will and testament.  First. If my negro boy CHARLES should not sold before my decease for the payment of an execution which Carrs Exors had against WILLIAM DOWNMANs estate & which I have given a forthcoming bond for it is my will and desire that my executor should sell said negro boy CHARLES & pay off said debt & the balance if any be used for the benefit of my estate.  Secondly in consequence of two of my niece MARIA LESLEYS negros being sold to pay off debts due from CAPT. DOWNMANs estate & which her property as well mine was equally bound for I give her the said MARIA two of my negroes namely BILL & ALBERT which gift I hereby confirm.  Thirdly it is my will & desire that my executor as soon after my decease as it can conveniently be done sell my negro man JOHN and my negro woman CATE & her son GEORGE & her young child for cash, and out of the proceeds thereof pay to my nephew GEORGE BAYLEY two hundred dollars which is meant as a legacy from me to my said nephew & the balance arising from the sale of said negroes to be paid to my sister PHAMY LINTON at this time living near the sweet spring in the County of Monroe.  Fourthly I give and devise to my friend JOHN LINTON of the town of Dumfries my half of the tract of land (left by WM. DOWNMAN to myself & my sister LESLEY) and the balance of my negroes, stock, plantation utensils & household & kitchen furniture, in trust, as a support for my brother JAMES NESBETT during his life, and at his death the said trust is to cease and the whole of the said land & negroes with their increase & whatever stock, plantation utensils & household & kitchen furniture there is at that time, I will and devise to my niece MARIA LESLEY if she should be living, or if she be dead, and leave an heir or heirs it is my will that he her or them shall have the whole of said property, but if she should be dead & leave no child or children, then, it is my will & desire that the whole of said property should go to my sister PHAMY LINTONs two single daughters that are now living with her.  Fifthly I give all my wearing apparel to niece MARIA LESLEY.  It is my will and desire that the Court where this will is proven shall not take security of my executor and it is my particular will & desire that there should not be an appraisement or inventory of my estate.  Lastly I constitute and appoint my friend JOHN LINTON SENR. Executor to this my last will & testament.  In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this tenth day of October 1817.


Signed sealed & acknowledged as the last will of the subscriber in the presence of

At a Court held for Prince William County Dec 1st 1817.  This last will and testament of ANN L. NESBETT decd. was presented to the Court by JOHN LINTON the Exor. therein named and being proved by the oaths of ANN HANCOCK and MARGARET HANCOCK is ordered to be recorded and the said and the said LINTON having taken the oath of an Exor and entered into bond without security (the testatrix by her will not requiring security and the Court agreeing that none should be given and one of the legatees being in Court and consenting thereto) certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate thereof in due form.

Teste, PHIL. D. DAWE

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thriller Thursday: Arundel and Davis Murder (4th Virginia Cavalry)

Alexandria Gazette
February 10, 1864

John T. Arundel and Samuel Davis, of Prince William county, privates in the 4th Virginia cavalry, were murdered one night last week in Dumfries, by a negro man while asleep.  They were guarding from negroes, whom they had captured, and falling asleep one of the negroes murdered both, by knocking them in the head, with an axe.  The Richmond Examiner of Monday last contains the following:  "We learn that on Friday last two members of the Prince William cavalry, named Davis and Arundel, succeeded in capturing four negroes in the Yankee service, belonging to the "Home Guard" of Fairfax county.  The cavalrymen took the negroes to Dumfries, and on Friday night placed them in an unoccupied house.  Having imprudently fallen to sleep, the cavalrymen were attacked and overpowered by the negroes, their skulls cleft by some sharp instrument, and their bodies, mutilated in the most horrible manner.  They were found next morning weltering in their blood, and lived only long enough to relate the circumstances of the terrible tragedy which had befallen them."

Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, VA)
February 10, 1864

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday's Child: Lucretia Alexina Evans

Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, VA)
October 16, 1846

DIED, At Brentsville, Prince William County, Va., on Tuesday evening, 6th instnat, after a painful illness of two days, Lucretia Alexina, aged two years, only child of James A. and Ann M. Evans.  Nothing that can be said could possibly console or alleviate the grief of her parents at the loss of one so sweet and interesting as was this child.

"Yes! thou art fled, ere guilt had power
   To stain thy cherub soul and form,
Closed is the soft ephemeral flower,
   That never felt a storm!
The sunbeam's smile, the zephyr's breath
All that is it knew from birth to death.

"Oh! had'st thou still on earth reamin'd
   Vision of beauty! fair as brief!
How soon thy brightness had been stained
   With passion or with grief!
Now not a sullying breath can rise,
To dim thy glory in the skies."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tech Tuesday: CamScanner App

Here's a nifty little app for both iPhone and Android devices that I've found very helpful -- and it's free!  CamScanner by InSig Information Co., Ltd. uses your device's camera to 'scan' documents, photographs, whiteboards, newspapers, etc. quickly and easily.  Some of the in-app features include auto enhancing that help create sharp, clear images; document editing to add notes and make annotations; a sorting feature to allow you to sort those documents/photos into groups on your device; and the ability to email the document or upload to the Cloud.  The paid versions of the application have more features, of course, including document syncing and Cloud space.

I've found this app to be especially useful with hard to copy photographs in books.  Photocopy machines are fine, but CamScanner allows me to take a photo-quality scan of the image and instantly adjust the quality/sizing/borders.  It will even compensate for the slight skew caused by a bent page or book binding, adjusting the image and flattening it.

Take, for instance, the photo of the Primitive Baptist Church in Independent Hill, Virginia, that I posted earlier this year.  The photo was taken using CamScanner from "My Lynn Families, Vol. 1," by George H. Lynn, a limited edition vanity press published in 1977.  The original photo in the book is a tiny little insert photo with a handwritten caption.  Using the mobile app, I was able to 'scan' the page, isolate the photograph, and create a nice, clear image for my files.  (As a side note, the Primitive Baptist Church -- which was the church for so many of my Lynn and Cole ancestors -- no longer exists.  The photo in George's book is the only one I've ever seen of the building.)

Are there better scanning apps out there?  Very probably, but I've been so happy with this one that I haven't had the need to search for another.  (And did I mention that it's FREE?)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Madness Monday: Crazed About Ice Cream

Sunday Star (Washington, DC)
July 7, 1907


Nokesville Merchant Thought Armour Had Ordered Five Carloads

Special Dispatch to The Star.

RICHMOND, July 6. - A dispatch from Nokesville, Va., says that Ellis R. Hollinger, a merchant at that plce, who has been acting queerly for several days, became suddenly insane a night or two ago.

Hollinger got the idea into his head that he had an order for five carloads of ice cream from Armour & Co., and he arose at a late hour of the night, engaged the milk supply from farmers for thirty days, gave orders for all the ice to be had, and was preparing to engage in the manufacture of ice cream for the meat men.

He was taken into custody, adjudged insane and will be sent to Staunton for treatment.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Captain John Byrd Conner

Milford Mail (Indiana) - April 18, 1912

Evansville Courier and Press (Indiana)
August 5, 1898
Former Statistician of State Dead.  Capt. John B. Conner, former statistician of the state of Indiana, died at his home in Indianapolis.  He was within a few days of being eighty-one years old.  He had been identified with the Indiana farmer as editor and publisher for over thirty-seven years.  For nearly three years he had been in failing health, though continuing to attend to his business the most of the time.  He was troubled with gall stones, and later with an enlargement of the liver, which was followed by a sharp attack of heart disease, that was the immediate cause of his death.  His last illness was of two weeks' duration.

John Byrd Conner was born April 28, 1831, on the farm of his father, Willoughby Conner, a native of Prince William county, Virginia, who had entered and bought government land in that county in 1820.  The grandfather of John B. Conner was an Englishman, who emigrated to this country when fifteen years old and became a soldier under Washington in the Revolutionary War.

John B. Conner received his early education in a log schoolhouse two miles from his father's farm.  He afterward attended the Vernon seminary, and was a resident of Madison in 1847 when the old Madison & Indianapolis railroad was completed to Indianapolis.

Milford Mail (Indiana)
April 18, 1912

~ ~ ~ 

Evansville Courier and Press (Indiana) - August 5, 1898 - John B. Conner, nominee for state statistician, the office which he now holds, entered the army of the Union as first lieutenant of Company A, twelfth Indiana infantry, and was afterward promoted to captain.  He served in the state legislature in 1897.  He is the author of the bill which provided for the establishment of the Indiana bureau of statistics.  He was chosen executive of this branch by Governor Porter and held the office two years, till it became an elective one.  In 1897 a vacancy occurred and he was appointed by Governor Mount to fill the place.  He has been connected with the Indiana Farmer for years.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

New in Tech: New Battle of Bristoe Station mobile app

History and Technology unite!

Check out this article from InsideNova about the launch of the New Battle of Bristoe Station Mobile App.   I'll be downloading the app and giving it a whirl in plenty of time for the Battle of Bristoe Station Commemorative Weekend this October 12-13.  (For more information on the event, please go Here).

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friend of Friends Friday: Public Sale

Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, VA)
December 12, 1811


Will be sold, at Hay-Market, in the county of Prince William, Virginia, on the first day of January next--

A Number of Slaves,

Of both sexes and of different ages; the property of the late Mrs. Elizabeth Whiting, of Snow Hill -- among them are some excellent house servants, a hostler and shoemaker, and a male cook, 35 years of age, who, combined with a knowledge of cookery, for which he is not excelled, is an excellent butcher and gardener.  Added to these qualifications, he is sober, honest, a genteel dining room servant, and a tolerable course shoemaker.

At the same time will be sold,

A number of horses, and a Chariot somewhat new; being part of the personal estate of the late Matthew Whiting, Esq. and some corn, made on the estate this year.

The whole of this property will be sold on a credit of six months, the purchaser giving bond with approved security, carrying interest from the date if not punctually paid.

All persons having claims against either of the aforenamed persons, are requested to present them for payment, to

E. Brooke
December 6

Save the Date: Ben Lomond Ghost Hunting 101

Ben Lomond Ghost Hunting 101

Friday, October 18, 2013 7:00 PM thru Saturday, October 19, 2013

Event Location

Ben Lomond Historic Site & Old Rose Garden
10321 Sudley Manor Drive
Manassas, VA 20109
 Please go HERE for more information.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Notices Outside of PWCo

Baltimore Patriot (Baltimore, MD) - November 11, 1815 - On Tuesday evening the 14th instant, at Locust Grove, Prince William county, Va. by the Rev. Mr. Mathews, Mr. George Sweeney, of Washington City, to Miss Mary S. C. Hooe, daughter of the late Bernard Hooe, junior, Esq. of the former place.

Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, DC) - June 1, 1821 - MARRIED, On Sunday the 20th inst. at Waterloo, the seat of Nedham L. Washington, Esq. of King George county, Va. by the Rev. Mr. Thornton, Otho W. Callis, Esq. of Prince George's county, Md. to Miss Jane Ashton Alexander, fourth daughter of Colonel Gerrard Alexander, of Prince William county, Va.

Daily National Intelligencer - March 18, 1826 - At the Thoroughfare, Prince William county, Va., on Thursday, the 9th ist., by the Rev. Mr. Barnes, John S. Chapman, Esq. of Frankfort, Ky., to Miss Matilda L. A. Chapman, eldest daughter of George Chapman, Esq.

United States Telegraph (Washington, DC) - April 29, 1828 - Married, in Stafford County, Va. at the residence of Captain H. Eustace, on Thursday evening, the 17th April, by the Rev. Mr. Weems, George William Fitzhugh, Esq. Merchant of Brentsville, Prince William County, to Miss Sarah S. B. Henry, daughter of the late Edward Henry, Esq. of Northumberland County, Virginia.

Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, VA) - March 5, 1834 - MARRIED, on Thursday evening, 27th ultimo, at Mount Pleasant, Prince William County, Va., by the Rev. Mr. Berkley, Howison Hooe, Esq. of Prince William County, to Miss Catharine, daughter of Daniel McLean, deceased, of Alexandria D.C.

On Thursday evening last, by the Rev. Jessee E. Weems, Mr. John Fountain, to Miss Mary Patterson, daughter of Jessee Rossin, Esq., all of Prince William County, Virginia.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Martha J. Lynn

Martha Jane Lynn is my great-grandmother.  The daughter of Edna Ann (Cole) and John Henry Lynn, she was born 14 April 1869 in Prince William County and died sometime before 1899.  Little is known about Martha, and she remains one of my most frustrating brick walls.  Who was the father of her child, my grandfather Earl Lynn (b. 11 October 1891 in PWCo.) and when did Martha pass away?  The answers are out there, somewhere ...

Martha is buried in the Cole-Ashby family cemetery beside her mother and her grandparents, Lawrence and Jane Cole.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Mystery Monday: Couldn't Find His Estate

Alexandria Gazette
October 7, 1873

COULDN'T FIND HIS ESTATE -- A man from Ohio, who lately bought a farm somewhere in Fauquier county, was at Bristoe station a few days ago enquiring for it.  All he seemed to know was that he had bought a farm of a land agent, and paid for it, but he neither knew now where the land agent was, or his "earthly" possessions.  As he could learn nothing, he left, looking very sad.  Mr. Gaines seeing this, very kindly offered to sell him another farm, but the gentleman from Ohio looked sadder still, and went on toward the "Forrest."  ~ Manassas Gazette

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Captain Alexander Keith

New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette (Concord, NH)
March 4, 1822

In Jefferson co. Miss. on the 7th ult. in the 74th year of his age, Capt. Alexander Keith, who served from the commencement to the close of the revolutionary war, as an officer: he was a native of Prince William county, Va. and uncle to the Hon. John Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States.

New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette
March 4, 1822

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friend of Friends Friday: Will: Hector Alexander (1823)

Prince William County Will Book  M, pg 25
01 Jan 1823; proved 02 Jun 1823

In the name of God Amen I HECTOR ALEXANDER residing in the town of Dumfries County of Prince William, State of Virginia a native of Scotland and formerly a resident of Greenock do make ordain and appoint this my last will and testament hereby revoking all others by me heretofore made. Imprimis. I do give and bequeath all my lands tenements houses and lotts with the appurtenances and all my real estate of whatsoever kind lying being and situate in Great Britain unto my brother JOHN ALEXANDER and his heirs in trust nevertheless and upon express condition and confidence that he shall so soon after my death as he conveniently can make sale and convey in fee simple for the best price he can all my real estate land tenents and houses and lotts with the appurtenances devised by me as aforesaid and the money arising from the sale thereof together with the accruing profits of the same until the time of the sale pay over and distribute in equal parts and portions unto my three sons viz. ROBERT ALEXANDER one part thereof and to my son WILLIAM ALEXANDER one other part thereof and to my son JOHN ALEXANDER one other part thereof to whom I give and devise the same.  At same time I give and bequeath to my three sons viz. ROBERT ALEXANDER, WILLIAM ALEXANDER and JOHN ALEXANDER eighty shares of united States Bank stock to be equally divided amongst them.  I likewise give and bequeath to my son ROBERT ALEXANDER my negro lad RICHARD.  I give and bequeath to my son WILLIAM ALEXANDER my negro woman JINNY with her son JAMES.  I give and bequeath to my son JOHN ALEXANDER my negro boy WILLIAM.  Whatever debts that may be owing to me at my death I give and bequeath to my three above mentioned viz. ROBERT ALEXANDER, WILLIAM ALEXANDER and JOHN ALEXANDER after paying all my just debts and such legacys as here below mentioned.  I give and bequeath to CONSTANTIN WHITFELL two hundred dollars per year to be paid to her half yearly and my house and lot in the old fields bounded by Levy and Jesse Scott.  I likewise give to her my negro woman with her youngest child and her daughter MARY.  I give the above to her during her respective life time then to return to my three above mentioned sons viz. ROBERT ALEXANDER, WILLIAM ALEXANDER and JOHN ALEXANDER.  I give and bequeath to my son WILLIAM my silver watch.  I hereby appoint ROBERT ALEXANDER and WILLIAM ALEXANDER my Executors of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made.  I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 1st day of January in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and twenty-three.  No security to be required.



At a Court of Quarterly Sessions held for Prince William County  June 2d 1823.  This last will and testament of HECTOR ALEXANDER decd. was presented to the court and it appearing to the satisfaction of the court by the oaths of Henry Fairfax and Charles T. Chapman that the said will is all in the hand writing of the said testator the said will is admitted to record and Robert Alexander and William Alexander the Executors therein named came into court and took the oath of Exors. And entered into bond according to law the court dispensing with security agreeably to the will of the testator it appearing to the court that he has left visible property sufficient to pay all his debts.

Teste, P. D. DAWE

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thriller Thursday: Claibourn Sims

Alexandria Gazette
September 7, 1836

During the month of April last, a white man named Claibourn Sims disappeared from Prince William County in Va., and three negroes belonging to captain Henry Fairfax were arrested on suspicion of having murdered him.  They were accordingly tried about three weeks ago, and unanimously acquitted by the court, the suspicion having been ascertained to be entirely groundless.  Sims, we are informed, is believed to have left the country with the intention that his departure should not be known.

Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, VA)
September 7, 1836

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wednesday Child: James, Edwin, and Charles Free

Manassas City Cemetery, Manassas, VA

son of
W(illiam) & Lucile Mary
June 8, 1829
April 12, 1932

Dec. 1, 1923
Mar. 22, 1925

Sept. 7, 1921
June 17, 1923

Current Affairs: Upate: Graveyard Discovered at School Construction Site

In a September 3, 2013 article in the Manassas Patch, the pre-civil war cemetery discovered on a school construction site is "located just off Hoadly Road" in the Independent Hill section of PWCo.

"...The graves were found about 1,900 feet south of the intersection of Hoadly Road and Independence Drive near Dale City in the Manassas-area of the county, said Phil Kavits, director of communications for Prince William County Public Schools.  Though the site had been surveyed back in 2008, evidence of the grave site was only recently discovered, as it was obscured by vegetation, Kavits said.  

The graves aren't located where the school building will stand, but where the school's stadium will be built, several media outlets reported this week. 

"The school division will work with the Virginia Department of Historical Resources to assure the appropriate archaeological evaluation of the site and the respectful relocation of any discovered remains and or relics," he added...."

[I sincerely hope that Mr. Kavits, the County, and the VA Dept of Historical Resources will make an effort to determine the family associated with the graveyard.  But I can't help wondering -- wouldn't it be easier, less expensive, and more respectful to simply leave the cemetery where it is and adjust the football field plans to accommodate it?  It's been done before -- more than once in PWCO -- and can be done again. ~cgl]

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

Current Affairs: Construction of New High School Uncovers Graveyard

[From here]

September 1, 2013

WASHINGTON -- Prince William County's public school system is growing by about 2,000 new students each year. So the county is set to build a new high school. But the building process has discovered a graveyard predating the Civil War at the 110-acre site for the new school. It may need to be unearthed and moved.

"In the course of surveying the property, there were some remains discovered," Phil Kavits, communications director for Prince William County Public Schools. The graveyard has about 13 burial plots that could date from before the Civil War.

"We're going to be working with the appropriate state agency to determine how to go about moving those remains to a commercial cemetery," Kavits says. "What's going to happen now is that that information is going to be shared with the public through a public notice."

If no family members come forward or there are no objections, the county will work with state archaeologists who are experts on how to move the remains.

What will be the 12th high school for Prince William County will probably start construction sometime next spring. And since the cemetery is where the football stadium will be built, Kavits says the discovery probably won't delay the construction of the actual school, which is scheduled to open September 2016.

Military Monday: Sidney T. Carter

"Military Monday" is a daily prompt suggested by Geneabloggers focusing on ancestors who have served in the military.

Washington Times (Washington, DC)
July 7, 1918


"Missing in Action" is the message received by by James E. Carter, a farmer of Vienna, Va., concerning his ninth and youngest son, Private Sidney T. Carter, of the marine corps.  Carter has nine sons, two of them in the military service and the others heads of families scattered over the United States who are too old to be included in the draft.  The wife who reared the nine sons was buried a year ago Fourth of July, and the old man is living alone on his farm at Vienna "doing his bit.

Known in Capital.  The youngest son, Sidney, who is missing in action, has been in Washington several times and has a host of friends here.  He is an expert rubber man, and prior to his enlistment was employed by the Goodrich Rubber Company, of Akron, Ohio.  He also has been employed by commission merchants in this vicinity.  In Alexandria he was employed by the May commission merchants and jobbers, and in Baltimore he was connected with Chesapeake Jobbers Association.  Private Carter was born in Prince William county, Virginia, and seven years ago moved to his father's farm at Vienna, whence he went to Alexandria, Baltimoe and Akron, starting a business career.  He is twenty-seven years old.

Another is Chaplain.  Lieut. Josiah Carter, the eighth son, is a chaplain in France with General Pershing.  He last year was given a commission as first lieutenant and, because so many ministers of his denomination were commissioned, the War Department anticipated keeping him from embarking to France.  He went to the commanding officer of his training camp and said:  "General, if you intend to keep me here I want to resign my commission and go as a private rather than stay here."  Whereupon the general asserted that Young Carter was the right kind of a chaplain to have among fighting men and made arrangements to have Carter attached to a regiment as chaplain.

Washington Times - July 7, 1918