Saturday, November 30, 2013

Shopping Saturday: Crigler & Camper General Store

Crigler & Camper General Store was located next to the National Bank of Manassas in what is today "Old Town" Manassas and specialized in retail merchandise.  A.M. Crigler was the president and H. Camper the manager of the establishment.

In honor of today's "Small Business Saturday," please patronize your local, unique, small shops and businesses for your holiday gifts and goodies.

Manassas Journal - December 17, 1915

Friday, November 29, 2013

Deed: William Grigsby to Michael Lynn (1764)

1 June 1764
Prince William Co., VA Deed Book Q, pg. 123

    THIS INDENTURE made the first day of June 1764 in the fourth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the third by the Grace of God/Great Britain, France & Ireland King defender of the Faith. And in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and sixty four between WILLIAM GRIGSBY Senr. of the parish of Overwharton in the County of Stafford of the one part and MICHAEL LYNN of the parish of Dittingen in the County of Prince William of the other part. Witnesseth that the said WILLIAM GRIGSBY for various consideration of the sum of five shillings current money of Virginia to him in hand paid by the said MICHAEL LYNN at or before the sealing and delivery of these presents the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged by the said WILLIAM GRIGSBY, Hath bargained and sold and by these presents doth bargain and sell unto the said MICHAEL LYNN all those tracts or parcels of land situate lying and being in the said County of Prince William and lying upon Powell's Run and its branches containing in the whole three hundred and seventy nine acres of land. The said land being granted to Leonard Barker by two several deeds issued out of the Proprietors Office of the Northern Neck of Virginia, one hundred acres being part of a Deed for three hundred & twelve acres & three quarters bearing date the 16th day of October one thousand seven hundred & twenty four, two hundred twenty nine acres by another Deed bearing date the twenty sixth day of July one thousand Seven hundred and twenty eight and by the said Leonard Barker sold and conveyed to the aforesaid WILLIAM GRIGSBY by Deeds of Leave and Release bearing date the twenty fourth & twenty fifth days of November One thousand Seven hundred and forty three, relation being thereunto had will more fully and at large appear. Together with all houses buildings orchards ways, waters, water courses, profits commodities hereditaments appurtenances whatsoever to the said premises hereby granted on any part thereof belonging or in any way wise appertaining. And the Reversion and revisions remainder & remainders, rinks, issues and profits thereof. To have and to hold the said land and all and singular other the premises hereby granted with the appurtenances unto the said MICHAEL LYNN his heirs Executors Administrators & Assigns from the day before the date hereof for and during the full term and time of one whole year from hence next Ensuing fully to be complete and ended Yielding and paying therefore the rent of one pepper corn on lady day next if the same shall be lawfully demanded to the intent and purpose that by Virtue of these presents and of the Statute for transferring uses into possession the said MICHAEL LYNN may be in actual possession of the premises and be thereby enabled to accept and take a Grant and Release of the Reversion and Inheritance thereof to him and his heirs. In Witness whereof the said WILLIAM GRIGSBY hath hereunto set his hand and Seal the day & year first above written.


Sealed and Delivered in the Presence of

At a Court held for Prince William County the fourth day of June 1764
    This Lease from WILLIAM GRIGSBY to MICHAEL LYNN was proved by the Oath of all the witnesses hereunto and on the motion of the said Michael the same is admitted to Record.  

Test. JOHN GRAHAM Ct. Cur.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Miller/Lynn (1899)

Staunton Spectator and Vindicator (Staunton, VA)
August 17, 1899


Tuesday morning at the home of Mrs. Susan E. Miller near Free Union, Albemarle county, her daughter, Miss Bertie, was married to R. Lee Lynn, a prominent young business man of Roanoke City.  After the ceremony, congratulations and good-byes, Mr. and Mrs. Lynn left for Black Rock Springs, where they will spend their honeymoon.

Miss Miller is an accomplished and attractive young lady, a graduate of Von Bora College, and comes of the well known Comer family of Augusta county.

Mr. Lynn belongs to the large and influential Lynn family of Prince William county.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Current Affiars: Grave Matters

Yesterday's Editorial on InsideNova continued to keep a spotlight on the Prince William County School's insensitive and questionable handling of the grave site at their 12th High School construction site.

Grave Matters: It's Time for Some Respect and Dignity presents the issue clearly and succinctly, and underscores how following the "letter of the law" isn't enough -- especially when human dignity, community opinion, and history are sacrificed simply to facilitate the building of a school football stadium.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Holiday Events at PWCo Historic Sites

December 7
A Rippon Lodge Christmas
5pm–8pm; $10 per person, children under 6 free
Take a candlelight tour of Rippon Lodge and experience holiday celebrations from colonial Virginia through WWII.  Visit with Santa in the cabin during your stay.  Tours on the half hour.  Reservations required for candle light tours but not for visiting Santa.  Visits to Santa are free for everyone.  Please dress for the weather some activities are outdoors.     
Rippon Lodge Historic Site, 15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, 703-499-9812

December 7
December 8
A Visit From Santa
Saturday, 10am-5pmSunday, noon-3pm; FREE
In December of 1862, artist Thomas Nast made one of the first known illustrations of Santa Claus. Santa was shown giving gifts to soldiers in the field at Fredericksburg, Virginia during the American Civil War.  This year, Santa will dust off that old suit he wore back then and make an appearance at Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre.
Guests can make old-time holiday decorations and Pomander balls with citrus fruit and cloves to take home for decorating their tree or give as gifts.  Pictures with Santa available at $5 for 4x6 or $10 for 8x10
On Sunday, join Historic Faith Ministries at 10 a.m. for a traditional Christian Christmas service at the Union Church.
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre, 12229 Bristow Rd., Bristow, Va. 20136, 703-792-5618

December 14
Slave Holidays at Ben Lomond                                                                                                       
5pm-7pm; tours ever 30 minutes $7.00 per person, free for children under six. Advanced reservations are suggested but not required.                                                                                         Take a candle lit tour of the main house and slave quarter to learn how the enslaved community celebrated the holidays and how they resisted the institution that kept them enslaved. Living history vignettes will allow some of the enslaved workers at Ben Lomond to come to life, giving you a unique perspective into this period of American history.                                                     
Ben Lomond Historic Site, 10321 Sudley Manor Dr., Manassas, VA 20109; 703-367-7872.

December 14
Brentsville Holiday Concerts
5 and 6pm Concerts
Get in the Holiday spirit with an evening of seasonal music at the beautiful and historic Brentsville Union Church.  Two concerts will be performed by the Brentsville District High School Chorus.  Enjoy hot cider and cookies by a warm bonfire.
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre 12229 Bristow Rd., Bristow, Va. 703-365-7895

Military Monday: Lucien N. Fewell

Richmond Enquirer (Richmond, VA)
October 20, 1864

Lynchburg, Va, Oct 18, 1864

Lucien N. Fewell, company H, 17th Va infantry, Corse's brigade, Pickett's division, was captured in front of Bermuda Hundreds about the last of July, since which time his friends have heard nothing from him; he is supposed to be at some of the Northern prison camps.

Any information concerning him through the New York Daily News or other Northern papers and the Richmond Enquirer will be gratefully received by his parents.

oc18-54t address

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Mollie (Holmes) Lynn

Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, MD)
January 11, 1920

Manassas, Va. -- Mrs. Henry Fairfax Lynn, 72, died Tuesday at the home of her grandson, Walter Holmes Robertson, near Gainesville.  She was the widow of the first president of the National Bank of Manassas and before her marriage was Miss Mollie Holmes, of Loudoun county.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Current Affairs: Bone Fragments Found at 12th High School Grave Site (

The following article (Bone Fragments, Teeth Found at High School Grave Site) is reprinted by permission of InsideNova and the author, Jill Palermo.  Many, MANY thanks to both for breaking the story in August 2013 and for their continuing balanced, fair reporting of a volatile and sensitive issue.

~ ~ ~ ~

Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013 10:31 am | Updated: 10:03 am, Fri Nov 22, 2013.
Author:  Jill Palermo

Bitten by what she calls “the genealogy bug” in the 1990s, Carolyn Lynn has spent years tracing her father’s family history, even launching a blog called “Prince William County Genealogy” about two years ago.
But despite her extensive research, Lynn said she hit a wall in her searching long ago. The grave of her great-great grandfather, John Henry Lynn, a Civil War veteran, was missing. And although she found a county notice of his 1884 death, she could find no obituary, and he wasn’t buried beside his wife, Edna Ann, or their daughter, Martha.
“I could never figure out where he was buried,” Lynn said earlier this week. “I’ve been looking for years.”
Lynn’s family mystery was solved this week, but not in a way she ever expected.
Disappointed and angry
The discovery of John Henry Lynn’s likely grave site, as well as those of his parents, William and Cordelia (Keys) Lynn, came as a result of a decision to remove and relocate what is now thought to be a 100-year-old Lynn family cemetery – to make way for a football field for Prince William’s newest high school, set to open in the fall of 2016 near Va. 234 and Hoadly Road.
Although Lynn says she is “elated” about the discovery of her family’s cemetery, the removal of the grave sites has left her and other members of the extended Lynn family -- many of whom still live in the county – disappointed and angry. They want to know why Prince William school officials didn’t do more to accommodate the cemetery or notify area residents about plans to disinter the graves, a process that began on Veterans Day.
“When they were interred, that was their home. They expected to be there forever,” Lynn said of the 11 to 13 Lynn family members – including four small children -- believed to be buried at the site. “Nobody thought somebody would build a football stadium over them.”
Derek Lynn, a Woodbridge resident and family descendant who learned about the grave sites from recent news reports, said he wants the cemetery restored, especially considering his family’s long history and contributions to the county.
According to family research, the Lynn family’s roots in the county date to the 1740s, and ancestors include veterans of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War and, more recently, a longtime Prince William School Board member for whom Fred M. Lynn Middle School is named.
“We’re trying to bring this to everyone’s attention,” Derek Lynn said of the decision to move the cemetery. “These [people] spent their whole lives trying to improve the county, and now they’re out there trying to dig them up. … All we want is for the grave sites to be put back the way they were and left alone.”
Phil Kavits, spokesman for Prince William schools, said the cemetery must be moved because it’s near the middle of an area slated for the high school’s football field, which cannot be moved because of wetlands on the 110-acre school site.
Changing the building plans, even if possible, would be expensive and significantly delay the opening of the high school, Kavits added. In response to calls about the cemetery, school officials have posted their reasons for moving the grave sites – and details of the cemetery’s July 2013 discovery – on the school system website.
“There [is] no reasonable alternative given the site and given the constraints we [are] under,” Kavits said in a recent interview. “This is, first and foremost, something that is very badly needed for our students and for our community.”
School system criticized for lack of transparency
Prince William school officials’ decision to move the cemetery has sparked criticism not only from the Lynn family but also from members of the Prince William Historical Commission and local civic associations.
Bill Olson, chairman of the commission’s cemetery committee, said he’s not convinced school building plans couldn’t be shifted to accommodate the cemetery and says the school system did not do enough to notify the community about plans to move the graves.
Although Olson and county historian Justin Patton met with schools officials at the cemetery site on Sept. 3, neither understood that the school system planned to move the graves so quickly, Olson said.
“It seemed to be rather surprising because we thought there would be a general announcement with an opportunity to discuss the specifics of this,” Olson said after a recent commission meeting at which the cemetery was discussed. “Right now, I don’t have any information to know whether this is a ‘last resort.’”
Olson and Patton said state law requires that grave sites only be disturbed as a “last resort” or at the request of family members.
“The Historical Commission generally likes to see cemeteries preserved in place; that’s their preference always,” Patton added. “There should be a compelling reason.”
Similar criticism from local civic associations and other concerned residents led county officials, including Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, R-At Large, and Supervisor Marty Nohe, R-Coles, to call for a change in policy requiring that county officials be notified before an application to disinter historic gravesites is submitted to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
Nohe, whose district includes the new school site, introduced the measure Tuesday. It will be discussed at the next supervisors’ meeting, Nov. 26.
Sifting the dirt by hand
The Virginia Department of Historic Resources granted Prince William schools permission to move the cemetery late last month. A legal notice of intent to disinter the graves was published in the Washington Post in September, DHR spokesman Randy Jones said.
School officials and Boyd Sipe, lead archeologist with Thunderbird Archeology, the Gainesville-based firm hired to clear the site, say the grave exhumation is being handled with dignity and care.”
Bone fragments and some teeth have been recovered from graves at the site. Any biological materials found are being evaluated by a skeletal biologist at Towson University, Kavits said Wednesday.
“We don’t know what the ability will be for identification” of the remains, Kavits said. “But that will be a major point of their efforts.”
Bits of coffin wood and nails found last week helped archeologists determine that one of children’s graves dates to about the 1840s, Sipe said.
That clue, along with county land deeds and court records, led local historians to identify the cemetery, said Don Wilson, a Virginia librarian at Bull Run Library, home of the county’s main source of genealogy resources, the Ruth E. Lloyd Information Center.
Carolyn Lynn said she’s grateful for the community support for her family’s cemetery and has mixed feelings about the graves. Although she would like for her relatives to rest in peace, she does not want to stand in the way of the new school.
What bothers her most, she said, is that school officials did not try to get in touch with the family earlier. She received an email from a school official on Tuesday and said she hopes to be involved in reinterment plans. She prefers to have her ancestors’ remains stay on the property, but is not particularly hopeful about it.
“We have a right, as family members, to help determine where the remains are moved,” she said. “Do I want them to stay where they are? Absolutely.”
Derek Lynn and his father, Richard Lynn, went to the cemetery uninvited Tuesday morning. They snapped several pictures of the site and had an impromptu meeting with David Cline and Keith Imons, both associate superintendents with Prince William County Schools, who were called to the site after the Lynns arrived.
Richard Lynn said he will fight to keep the grave sites on the property.
“A graveyard is sacred. You don’t ever disturb it. We were taught that when we were young,” Richard Lynn said Wednesday. “What kind of message is this sending to our students? There’s no respect anymore.”

Friend of Friends Friday: Billie and Scipio

Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, VA)
March 23, 1769


RUN away from the Neabsco Ironworks, in Virginia, on or about the 10th of October last, a country born Negro man slave named BILLIE, the property of the Honourable John Tayloe, Esq; he is about 30 years of age, very black, well made, 5 feet 8 inches high, puts on a sour look when taxed with any thing amiss.  He had on and took with him, when he went away, a blue broad cloth coat, black cotton velvet jacket, and sundry other sorts of cloaths, besides shoes and stockings of various kinds.  He is by trade a ship carpenter, and is such a proficient in that business as not only to repair, but to build a sorts of small craft.  The day that he went off, he was accompanied by a dark Mulatto fellow named SCIPIO, the property of Mr. John McMillan, of Prince William county, in Virginia, of much the same age and size as  himself.  They crossed Potamack river together, in a schooner's boat, to the Maryland shore, where they left her, and have, from that time, kept themselves undiscovered.  As Billie was some time last summer brought from Carolina (to which place, under the sanction of a forged pass, he had travelled as a freeman) it is more than pos[s]able that if he is not now engaged by some ship builders to the northward, that he will endeavor to go on board some craft, bound for Charles-Town, or to some place in Carolina, where he expects to be free.

Whoever takes up the said Negro, or Mulatto, and brings one, or both, to the subscriber, or to Mr. John Calvert, manager of Col. Taylor's mine-bank in Baltimore county, or will secure them, so as they may be had again, shall receive, for each, a reward of 5 l. if taken forty miles from home, or the above reward, if at a greater distance, from the said Mr. John Calvert, or from THOMAS LAWSON.

N.B. Billie plays on the violin

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Current Affairs: A Few LYNN Family Facts

Do YOU have a Prince William County LYNN in your family tree?  If you have ancestors in the Northern Virginia area, give that tree a good hard shake, because you probably do.

It is believed that three LYNN brothers -- John, Michael, and William -- lived in Prince William County as early as 1740.  They were farmers who married and had children who, in their turn, increased and multiplied.  Almost every child named one of their children John, Michael, and/or William, carrying on the naming pattern for several generations.  Confusing?  Heck, yes!  Juggling which Lynn is which can be downright frustrating at times.  It helps a bit to know that John Lynn eventually wound up on the Fauquier side when the county boundaries changed.  Michael and William's descendants seem to have concentrated in the Occoquan/Dumfries area and around the Chapawamsic.  Some eventually moved further west, settling mid-county in what is now known as the Coles District.

DID YOU KNOW?:   The "Coles" district was given its name by Lawrence Cole, a prominent farmer, postmaster, and magistrate, who was himself a LYNN descendant through his mother, Prudence, the daughter of William?

Current Affairs: Skeletal Remains Uncovered in LYNN Family Graveyard

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Current Affairs: Graves on School Construction Site Belong to Lynn Family

In late August of this year, InsideNova published news of the graveyard found at the 12th High School construction site in the Coles District of PWCo.  On that day, I visited RELIC at the Bull Run Library to ask if they knew whose family was buried there.  At that time, they did not – nor did the County School Board seem to be making any effort to identify the family.  Upset that the identities seemed to be of little concern to The Powers That Be, I remember pointing to the aerial map of the site and remarking “Look at where that is!  It could be a Lynn cemetery!”

Now, isn’t that ironic? 

On Saturday, November 19th, after sleuthing through deeds and chancery records, Don Wilson and the phenomenal staff at RELIC identified the cemetery as that of William Lynn and his wife, Cordelia (Keys) Lynn.  It is a Lynn cemetery after all and, as fate would have it, William and Cordelia are my third great-grandparents.

How do I feel about this?  I’m understandably upset but also somewhat elated.  One of my brick walls had been my 2nd Great Grandfather, John Henry Lynn.  He served during the Civil War in Co. A of the 4th Virginia Cavalry, survived the war, was married and had children, and died in 1884.  Unfortunately, I was never able to discover where he was buried; there were no obituaries for him – only the County death record – and he is not interred with his wife Edna Ann (Cole) Lynn and their daughter Martha.  So where did he go?  Very probably to be buried with his parents, in the site that is now being disinterred by archaeologists of Wetland Solutions on behalf of the County School Board.

I spoke with NBC-4 yesterday as well as with reporters for InsideNova and the Potomac Local News about the issue.  (And many thanks to the local news media for keeping this topic in the public eye!)

No, but really – how DO I feel to learn that one, and possibly two, generations of my ancestors are being disinterred from their resting place to make way for a high school football stadium?  Frustration, disappointment, anger, and most of all helplessness.

Why can’t the County School Board adjust their plans to accommodate the cemetery, as previous county schools have done in the past?  And if the cemetery must be moved (which is in process even as I write this), where are the remains to be reinterred – and as a blood relative, do I have any say in the matter?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Military Monday: To the People of the South (Manassas Confederate Cemetery)

Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, VA)
September 11, 1867


Manassas, VA, Oct. 2, 1867 -- The Ladies Memorial Association of Manassas appeal to you to aid them in collecting and suitably interring the remains of the gallant men who fell fighting gloriously for you and yours on this ever memorable field.  The victories gained have sent a thrill of joy through every Southern heart and home; but still the bones of those who gave their lives to gain them lie uncared and unnoticed.  Our immediate section was so devastated by the war that we are not able, unaided, to perform the work before us.  A site has been donated for the Manassas Cemetery, and we propose to gather together the remains of all who fell in this region.  We ask every one who lost a friend here not only to render us all the aid possible, but to communicate with the Association, and give all the information they can about where their friends are buried, their brigade, regiment, company, &c.  We do not deem it necessary to make a stirring or eloquent appeal to the friends of the brave boys, whose bones now whiten the "plains of Manassas."  The fact that numbers from every county in the South fell here should be enough to make every one give his mite in aid of so noble a work on so proud a field.

Mrs. Sara E. Fewell

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Lucie A. (Simpson) Hereford

Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, VA)
August 15, 1856

On Wednesday, the 6th day of August, at their residence on Mercer's Bottom, Marion County, Va., LUCIE A.., the wife of Wm. P. Hereford, Jr. and daughter of Caleb Simpson, of Prince William County, Va., in the 25th year of her age, leaving an infant only twelve days old.  She was naturally mild and amiable.  She met death with entire christian resignation to the will of Heaven, and bore with admirable meekness and sweetness her intense sufferings.  It may be a melancholy satisfaction to her parents and other distant relatives, to learn that she was greatly beloved by her neighbors, whose kindness and attentions were unremitting -- "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord."  T.P.H.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Shopping Saturday: Dowell's Pharmacy

Dowell's Pharmacy was established circa 1909 by William Fred Dowell on Centre Street in the heart of the Manassas business district.

Eastman Kodak's simple box "Brownie" camera was introduced in 1900.  Simple to use and inexpensive, the Brownie line was popular into the late 1950's.  I remember playing photographer with my Mother's well worn Brownie, although I don't remember there being any film/photos as part of the adventure.  The camera may have been inexpensive and easy to use but buying/developing the film could be costly.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friend of Friends Friday: A Runaway in Jail

Richmond Whig (Richmond, VA)
August 17, 1847


A NEGRO BOY, who calls himself PHIL, was committed to the Jail of this county, as a runaway, on the 23d day of June last.  Said slave was committed to jail as the property of a Mr Wm Starke, of the county of Prince William.  But the said boy alledges that he is hired for the present year (1847) to a Mr Heartwell, who lives in the Town of Fredericksburg, and that he was employed in a brick-yard.  Phil is quite black, has an intelligent countenance, is about 16 or 18 years old, and had on when committed to jail a pair of coarse linen pants, quite new, a coarse cotton shirt, and an old glazed cap.  The owner of said boy is requested to come forward, prove his property, pay charges and take him away, or he will be dealt with as the law directs.

N.B.--The boy Phil never owned that any body had any right to him or his services until since he was put in jail.

Ira L. Bowles
For Francis Blunt, Jailor of Hanover County

Will: Abraham Farrow (1743)

Prince William County Will Book C, pg. 443
18 March 1741; Proved 27 February 1743

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN, I, ABRAM FARROW of the parish of Hamilton and County of Prince William planter being weak and infirm of body, but of sound memory and judgment thanks be to god do make appoint constitute and ordain this my Last will and Testament hereby revoaking anulling and declaring void all other wills or Testaments whatsoever by me heretofore made,

Imprimis I bequeath my precious and immortal soul into the hands of Almighty god my creator my body I leave to the ground to be decently interr’d according to the discretion of my Executors hereafter mentioned hoping for a blessed Resurrection, through Jesus Christ, and as to what worldly goods and estate it hath pleased god to bless me with I will that they be disposed in manner following.  Item I bequaith my Negro named BOATSWIN unto my son, ISAC. FARROW and the heirs of his body, Item, I bequeath Negro SUSAN unto my beloved wife SIBELL FARROW.  Item I bequaith negro SYLVESTER unto my Daughter LIDIA and the heirs of her body forever.  Item I bequaith Negro’s TOM & PHILLIP unto my son ABRAM and the heirs of his body for ever, Item I bequaith Negro GOEN unto my son JOHN and the heirs of his body for ever.  Item I bequaith Negro JUDY unto my daughter ELIZABETH and the heirs of her body for ever.  Item my will is that all my moveable estate be apris’d and after my Debts are paid that the remainder be equally devided between my daughter’s, SIBELL and MARGARET FARROW’s.  Lastly, I appoint my wife SIBELL FARROW and my brother WILLIAM FARROW my whole and only Executors of this my Last will and Testament Sealed with my seal and dated this eighteenth day of March Anna Domini 1741.


Sign’d Sealed declared and published in presence of


At a Court held for the County of Prince William the 27th day of February 1743

This will was presented in Court by SIBELL FARROW one of the Executors named in the said Will and proved by the oaths of JOHN GRARHAM gen, and THOMS WHITLIDGE two of the Witnesses thereto (who also made oath that they saw DANIEL M. CLAYLAND the other witness subscribe the same) it was admitted to record, WILLIAM FARROW one of the Executors therein named refusing the burthen thereof on the motion of the said SIBELL and her performing what is usual in such cases Certificate is granted her for obtaining a probate thereof in due form.


P WAGONOR   Ct. Cur.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Deed: Keys & Copin to Reeves (1827)

Prince William County, VA
Deed Book 11, pg. 41

THIS INDENTURE made and entered into this 12th day of May in the year Our Lord Eighteen Hundred & Twenty seven Between WILLIAM KEYS of the County of Harrison and GEORGE COPIN of the County of Prince William Both of the State of Virginia on the one part and JOHN U. REEVES of the County of Prince William of the other part.  Witnesseth, That the said WILLIAM KEYS & GEORGE COPIN for and in Consideration of the sum of Twenty dollars to them in hand paid at & before the Ensealing and delivery of these presents, hath Granted Bargained and sold alliened Ensealed and Confirmed and by these presents do Grant Bargain & Sell allien Enseal and Confirm unto the said JOHN U. REEVES and his heirs and assigns a Certain tract or parcell of Land Situate Lying and being in the County of Prince William & State aforesaid Containing Twelve acres more or less and is Bounded as followeth Viz. Beginning at a Red Oak on the North side of Quantico run Corner to the Lands of FARROW and PHILIP CARTER thence with the line of sd. Carter S 10 [degrees] E. 106 poles to the line of BENNETT thence with the road to the run to a Corner of the land formerly leas’d to JONATHAN GATHAM thence up the said run and Binding there with the Beginning together with all houses profits advantages Ways Waters & Water Courses with the appurtenances of every kind and nature Whatever thereto apertaining To have and to hold the aforesaid Bargained premises with their appurtenances unto the said JOHN U. REEVES his Heirs and assigns to the only proper use of him the said JOHN U. REEVES and his Heirs & assigns forever and lastly the aforesaid WM. KEYS & GEO. COPIN for themselves their heirs Excrs. & assigns do by these presents warrant and forever defend the aforesaid Bargained premises with their appurtenances to the sd. JOHN U. REEVES & his heirs & assigns against all Claims of any person or persons what ever.

GEO. COPIN {seal}

Prince William County to wit:
Clerks Office May 12th 1827

This deed from WILLIAM KEYS & GEORGE COPIN to JOHN U. REEVES was this day acknowledged in the office aforesaid by the said KEYS & COPIN to be their act & deed admitted to record.

Teste, P. D. DAWE, Ct. Cur.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday's Child: Asbury Spindle

Manassas Journal
January 30, 1914

Little Asbury Spindle, of Bristow, died Sunday morning in Washington after an illness following Pasteur treatment for a mad dog bite suffered some time ago.

Surviving members of the family are his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. U. B. Spindle, two brothers and a sister who is at this writing critically ill.

The funeral was held at Asbury M. E. church Wednesday afternoon.  The pastor in charge, Rev. J. E. Slick, and Rev. C. K. Cockran conducted the service and interment was made in the cemetery near town.  The pall bearers were Floyd Bryant, John Bell, Gordon Brown and Emmett Cather.

Richmond Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA)
January 29, 1914


Manassas, VA, January 28 -- Asbury B. Spindle, aged four years, son of Mrs. Upton Spindle, of Bristow, died in Washington this morning.  The remains were brought here this afternoon, and the remains were buried at the Manassas Cemetery.  Yesterday the funeral of a younger sister was held here, whose death occurred in Washington the day before.  These deaths are the sad sequel of a mad dog scare which occurred in Bristow in the month of December.  At that time a puppy belonging to the Spindle family was bitten by a stray dog afflicted with rabies, who in turn went mad.  Not knowing of its affliction, the young dog was allowed to roam around Bristow, at which time several other persons were bitten.  The puppy died, and its head was sent to the government laboratory at Washington, and later it was learned that it showed signs of rabies.  All persons, including four of Mrs. Spindle's children, were sent at once to Washington to receive the government Pasteur treatment, and the death of these two children was indirectly caused by the bite of the dog.  Other patients who went there are fully, it is reported.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Current Affairs: Graves at School Construction Site to be Moved

On September 4th I blogged about A Graveyard Discovered at a School Construction Site.  Today, InsideNova posted an Update, revealing that "...the school system filed the necessary paperwork with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to disinter and move the graves and have received permits to do so."

In the article, PWCo School Board Chairman Milt Johns is reported to have stated that "public notice was given of plans to move the grave sites, and no comments were received."  There was no clear explanation of where or when, exactly, the supposed "public notice" was given - or, for that fact, where the graves are to be relocated.  Although he states that "Archeologists will handle the excavation" and that any "remains will be handled sensitively and with dignity," it's evident that the main intent is to move the cemetery as quickly and quietly as possible so that construction on the new school can resume.

It is disheartening that apparently no attempt is being made by the School Board to identify the cemetery or locate possible living family members.  Fortunately, that task is being taken on by the Historical Commission and interested members of the county's history/genealogy community.  If yet another cemetery is to be swept away in the name of PWCo progress, hopefully a family name can be given to those who may have been buried there.

Travel Tuesday: Never Before on Train

Manassas Journal
February 7, 1913


Mrs. Susan Whitmer Makes First Trip on Cars from Harrisonburg to Nokesville

Mrs. Susan Whitmer, seventy years old, after driving several miles over muddy roads from her home in Milnesville, Augusta county, to Harrisonburg last week, she boarded, for the first time, a railway train for a hundred and twenty mile trip to Nokesville, this county, where her daughter, Mrs. N. Wise, who accompanied her, resides, and with whom she will spend the remainder of the winter.  Mrs. Whitmer came to Manassas on train No. 14 which gave her a little time to breathe easy, after her thrilling experience in winding around the curves in the Blue Ridge and Bull Run mountains behind a prancing steam horse, whose blood-curdling shrieks at the touch of Engineer Amos, was anything but comfortable to a novice in rapid transit.

She was also afforded an opportunity to see something of our town before she took the "second degree" in railway travel before reaching her destination.  When the conductor announced "All out for Nokesville," the good old lady doubtless felt relieved of the dreadful anxiety of what she had conceived to be a hazardous undertaking at her time of life.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Military Monday: Armistice Day

Richmond Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA)
November 10, 1925


War Veteran and Civic Workers Will March in Parade

[Special to the Times-Dispatch]

Manassas, Va., Nov. 9 -- Much interest is shown in the preparation for making Armistice Day one long to be remembered in Prince William County.  General Cole and other distinguished speakers will be heard.

The exercise will begin with a parade led by military band, a company of marines, World War veterans, Confederate veterans, Daughters of the Confederacy, Memorial Association, Manassas Kiwanis Club, Masons, Order Fraternal Americans, Swavely School, all the schools in Manassas and one from each district in the county.

The planting of memorial trees for World War veterans will follow.  At the conclusion of the program a dinner will be served to visiting soldiers, marines, World War veterans.

The reception committee is composed of the Board of Supervisors, county officials, town officials and Mrs. C. E. Nash, Mrs. C. M. Larkin, Thomas H. Lion, C. A. Sinclair, E. R. Conner, C. J. Meetze, C. E. Nash, C. R. C. Johnson, T. E. Didlake, H. T. Davies, R. S. Hynson, F. R. Hynson and S. W. Burge.

Armistice Day (November 11) commemorates the WWI armistice signed between the Allies and Germany and coincides with Veterans Day.  

On this Veterans Day, 2013, I'd like to say Thank You to All Who Have, Do, and Will Serve.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Black Sheep Sunday: L. N. ("Rhoda") Fewell

Lucian N. "Rhoda/Rhodie" Fewell, who was acquitted in Prince William County for the murder of James Clark in the Brentsville jail, eventually moved to New Mexico.  It appears that trouble was never very far behind.

Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, MD)
January 9, 1888

Items from Piedmont Virginia ... Rhoda Fewell, of Prince William County, who killed a man in that county, is reported to have killed several in his new home, New Mexico, and lies in jail awaiting trial for his last homicidal episode.

New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM)
April 21, 1893

The Justice Mill.  L. N. Fewell and Geo. Doty became involved in an altercation over the job driving one of Patterson & Co's night hacks, night before last, and Doty made his revolver serve as a club.  He was arrested on the charge of assault with intent to kill, and to-day Squire Garcia placed him under $300 bonds for appearance before the district court and $200 bonds to keep the peace.

New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM)
March 2, 1894

I desire to inform the public that Mr. L. N. Fewell, better known as "Pistol John," is no longer in my employ.  He has purchased one bus and one hack from Val. Schick, but has nothing to do with my barn whatever.  Thos. A. Herlow.

Sunday's Obituary: William E. Howard

Richmond Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA)
November 29, 1909


[Special to the Dispatch]

Manassas, Va., November 28 -- William E. Howard, sixty years of age, for a number of years timekeeper for the Southern Railway Company here, committed suicide at his home last night about 11 o'clock by drinking a quantity of chlorofom.

That the act was deliberate and premeditated is shown by the fact that Mr. Howard, just before he drank the poison, wrote several letters, arranging his  business affairs.  To his wife and their three children he wrote letters stating that he killed himself owing to ill health.  In a letter addressed to P. H. Lynch, Mr. Howard stated whom he owed and what disposition he wanted made with his money.

Mr. Howard had been a great sufferer for a number of years, but so patiently did he bear his sufferings that many of his friends did not now his health was not good.

He was accustomed to having spells of despondency, and it was noticed that he was very much depressed on Saturday.  He went home as usual, when he closed his office, and after he had eaten supper wrote the letters which he addressed to the members of his family.  After writing the letters, Mr. Howard went upstairs, the other members of the family retired.  About 11 o'clock Mr. Howard was heard returning to the lower part of the house.  His son, Thomas W. Howard, fearing something was wrong with his father, went down to see about him and found him acting in a very strange manner.  Mr. Howard told his son that he was not well and wanted to lie down on the lounge.  Young Howard suspecting that all was not right, hastened for a doctor, but the drug had gotten in its deadly work, and Mr. Howard died shortly after a physician arrived.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Will: Solomon Ewell Jr. (1818)

Prince William County Will Book L, pg. 218
11 Jul 1814; proved 06 Jul 1818

In the name of God Amen I SOLOMON EWELL JR. of Bele Ville in the County of Prince William & State of Virginia from the uncertainty of this my mortal life do make this my last will & testament in the following manner.  To wit, I first & principally commend my Soul to Almighty God, praying His forgiveness of all my sins thro the mediation o four blessed Lord & Savior Jesus Christ.  After my just debts are paid I bequeath to my loving wife SARAH BALL EWELL all the property then in possession or may be entitled to & all of which that was conveyed to JAS. E. HEATH by deed of trust for her use & benefit, to be disposed of in any manner she may think most proper during her life.  But should she die without a will, I bequeath all the remaining property to be equally divided between JESSE EWELL WEEMS of Dumfries & JESSE EWELL JR. of Chapel House & their heirs forever.  In witness whereof I affix my hand & seal this eleventh of July eighteen hundred & fourteen.



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

This last will and testament of SOLOMON EWELL JR. decd. was presented to the Court and the same was proved to be all in the hand writing of the sd. EWELL by the oaths of CHS. EWELL & JESSE EWELL & admitted to record.  And administration with the will annexed of the Estate of SOLOMON EWELL JR. decd is granted to SARAH B. EWELL who took the oath of an admr. And entered into and ackd. a bond with security according to law.

Teste, PHIL. D. DAWE

Friday, November 8, 2013

Friend of Friends Friday: Baccus

Alexandria Gazette
June 30, 1812

Twenty Dollars Reward

Escaped from the Jail of Prince William County on the 22d of April a Negro Man named BACCUS.  He is about 5 feet 3 or 4 inches high, dark complection, well made for his height; had on when he escaped a blue roundabout and linen sailor trowsers; he had been runaway 2 or 3 years and been following the water, has been to the West Indies and will likely try to get on board of some vessel.  I will give the above Reward to any person that will apprehend said Negro and secure him in any Jail so that I get him again, and all reasonable expences paid if delivered to the subscriber.

John Fewel, Jailor

P.S.  All masters of vessels is forwarned from carrying away the said slave under the penalty of law.

Dumfries, April 27.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thriller Thursday: Moxley Poisoning

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
January 4, 1859

CRIME AND TRAGEDY. -- We are grieved to learn that the family of Dr. Moxley, near Greenwich, in Prince William county, Va., were poisoned on Friday last, by the cook, by mingling arsenic with the soup.  Mrs. Moxley, the aged mother of Dr. M., soon died, and several other members of the family are reported to be very ill.  Some of the servants also partook of the poisoned food, and are among the sufferers.  The atrocious being by whom the deed was committed will of course meet the penalty of her awful crime. -- Alex. Sentinel.

Evening Star
January 7, 1859

The family of Dr. Moxley, in Prince William, Va., are recovering from the late attempt to poison them -- none dying except the aged mother of Dr. M.  The criminal is now in jail.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wednesday's Child: Mollie F. Atkinson

Alexandria Gazette
October 5, 1859

DIED.  In this city, on the 3rd instant, after a short illness, of Conjestive Fever, MOLLIE F., third daughter of the late Richard and Ruth Ann Atkinson, of Prince William County, Va., aged eleven years and six months, leaving three sisters and one brother, and many relations and friends to mourn their loss.  She was amiable, kind, and affectionate, and died regretted by all who knew her.  Her funeral will take place at Rippon Lodge, Prince William County, Va., on Wednesday, the 5th instant, at 12 o'clock.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: John Gaines

Manassas Journal
January 17, 1913


Member of Co. A, Fourth Virginia Cavalry, Dies in His Home Tuesday Night

Mr. John Gaines, 76 years old, a member of Co. A, 4th Virginia Confederate Cavalry, and one of the best known citizens of the upper portion of Prince William county, died after a brief illness in his home near Hickory Grove, at an early hour Tuesday night of pneumonia.  The funeral took place from the home yesterday afternoon, Rev. W. E. Gibson, formerly pastor of the Middleburg church, officiating, and interment was made in the family burial ground near his former home.

The deceased, who was an honorable and upright citizen, kind neighbor, devoted husband and father, and a brave soldier who followed Lee and Jackson through many hard fought battles, is survived by his widow, three daughter, Mrs. George Galleher, Mrs. John Brawner, and Miss Lucy Gaines, and by an only son, Mr. Latham Gaines.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Deed: Cooper to Haislip (1857)

Cooper to Haislip Deed
PWCo. Deed Book 24, page 136

This deed made the 3d day of August in the year 1857 Between Benjamin Cooper and Chloe Ann his wife of the first part and Henry C. Haislip of the other part, all of the County of Prince William in the State of Virginia.  Witnesseth that the said Benjamin Cooper and Chloe Ann his wife, for and in consideration of the sum of one dollar in hand paid to the said Benjamin Cooper the receipt of which he doth hereby acknowledge, have granted bargained and sold, and by these presents do grant bargain and sell and convey unto the said Haislip, with general warranty, one undivided fifth part of a tract of land of which the late Benjamin Cooper died seized and possessed and lying on the south side of Occoquan run adjoining the lands of Dunlap, the lands of the late Michael Kohn & others. It being the same interest conveyed to the said Benjamin Cooper by Ann Haislip daughter of the late Benjamin Cooper as will be seen by reference to the deed from the said Ann Haislip to the said Benjamin Cooper recorded in the County Court of Prince William County in Liber No. 22 folio 169.  Witness the following signatures and seals.

Benj'm Cooper {seal}

At a Court of Quarterly Sessions held for the County of Prince William August 3d 1857
   This deed from Benjamin Cooper to Henry C. Haislip was acknowledged by the grantor and ordered to be recorded.

Teste P. D. Lipscomb, clk