Tuesday, September 30, 2014

October Events at PWCo Historic Sites

October 4
Taste of the Potomac at Rippon Lodge
11-5pm; $20 per person (includes beer and wine tasting tickets), $10 per non-drinker, $5 for children over 6, designated drivers are FREE
Join us to celebrate and enjoy our region’s local flavors!  Local breweries and wineries will be set-up on the front lawn of Rippon Lodge.  Your tasting tickets will get you a tasting at each beer and wine vendor.   Local food vendors will also be selling their tasy local treats.  Listen to live music while enjoying good food and drinks with a view of the Potomac at Prince William County’s oldest home.  The historic house will be open for tours throughout the day. 
Rippon Lodge Historic Site, 15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192, 703-499-9812.

October 4
The Carter’s of Virginia Bus Tour
$80 per person, lunch included, reservations required
One of the older families in Prince William County is the Carter family.  Once owning large swaths of Prince William including Ben Lomond, the Carter family was a political and economic powerhouse in the local area for hundreds of years.  This special bus tour will travel to the Northern Neck to visit some exclusive Carter family sites.  King Carter’s home at Corotoman, historic Christ Church, and other Carter family sites will be stops on this tour.  For reservations, contact Ben Lomond Historic Site at 703-367-7872.

October 11
Bird Walk and Bagels at Metz Wetlands and Rippon Lodge
8am; $10 per person
The location along the edge of Neabsco Creek and the Potomac River Metz Wetlandsand Rippon Lodge are attractive places for birds.  Join local birding experts on a guided walk of both properties.  Discover our diverse population of song and raptor birds.  After the walk join us for bagels at Rippon Lodge.  Bring binoculars and guide books.   Please dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes.  No pets please. Tours of the house at Rippon Lodge included.  Reservations required.
Julie J. Metz Neabsco Creek Wetlands Preserve, 15875 Neabsco Road, Woodbridge, VA 703-499-9812.  Rippon Lodge Historic Site, 15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192,  703-499-9812

October 11-12
Bristoe Station Anniversary Weekend
11am-4pm; $5 per person
Join Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park staff on the 151st Anniversary of the Battle of Bristoe Station. Tour a Civil War encampment, watch artillery firing demonstrations, and tour the site of the third and final battle that took place in Prince William County. No pets please. 
Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park, The parking lot is located off of Iron Brigade Unit Ave Bristow, VA. 703-366-3049.

October 11
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 11                                                                                                                                                                    
Potomac River Blockade Boat Tour                                                                                        
 $40.00 per person, 10am-1pm, includes lunch, reservations required.                                     
Cruise along the Potomac River shoreline and view sites that were critical to the Confederate successful blockade of Washington D.C. from September 1861 through March 1862.  The cruise will include the preserved batteries at Freestone Point and Possum Nose, as well as Evansport and Shipping Point.  Tours include lunch and departs from Leesylvania State Park in Woodbridge.  For reservations call 703-792-4754

Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park Tours
October 11, 12, 25, 26
11am-3pm; Tours leave on the hour – donations encouraged.
Bristoe Station Battlefield staff and volunteers will provide guided tours of the hallowed grounds that contain camps, cemeteries, and battlefields. Learn about Camp jones and the two battles that took place in 1862 and 1863. Tours begin on the hour and depart from the kiosk in the parking lot on Iron Brigade Unit Avenue. The last tour leaves at 3PM. Please dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. Insect repellant is encouraged. No pets please. Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park, located off of Iron Brigade Unit Ave., Bristow, VA. 703-366-3049.

October 17
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 24 and 25
Spirits of Rippon Lodge
7-9 pm; $10 per person, children under 6 free.  
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. Guided tours on the hour. Reservations strongly recommended. 

October 25
All Hallows Eve
$5 person, children 2 and under 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.
Rippon Lodge Historic Site, 15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192, 703-499-9812.

October 25                                                                                                                                                                   
Potomac River Blockade Boat Tour                                                                                               
$40.00 per person, 10am-1pm, includes lunch, reservations required.                                    
 Cruise along the Potomac River shoreline and view sites that were critical to the Confederate successful blockade of Washington D.C. from September 1861 through March 1862.  The cruise will include the preserved batteries at Freestone Point and Possum Nose, as well as Evansport and Shipping Point.  Tours include lunch and departs from Leesylvania State Park in Woodbridge.  For reservations call 703-792-4754

October 26
Historic Sundays at Brentsville Union Church
11am- 12pm FREE
Brentsville Union Church was built in 1870 and served the Brentsville community for over 100 years.  Today the country church has been restored and serves as a glimpse into life of the 19th century.  Come learn about the practices of faith that were once held here and how important churches were to society and local communities.  Program conducted in partnership with Historic Faith Ministries, a non-profit living history organization focusing on Victorian period customs and spirituality.  Program begins at 11a.m. and is FREE to the public.  Tours offered after the program for $5.00.
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre 12229 Bristow Rd., Bristow, Va. 703-365-7895.

For more information about Historic Preservation in Prince William County please visit 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday's Obituary: Peter Owens (1825)

Richmond Enquirer
July 5, 1825

We are indebted to the polite attention of the Postmaster at Brentsville for the particulars of a melancholy, casualty which occurred at that place on the 19th inst.  Peter Owens, a man about 60 years of age, who had pursued the occupation of a well-digger for the last forty years, was employed by John McCrae, Esq. of Prince William county, Va. to clean a well on his plantation.  During the whole of the day above named he was closely engaged at his business, and at night, throwing his coat across his lap, sat down on the bank of the well to rest himself.  Having drunk freely of ardent spirits, which was not unusual for him to do, and being much fatigued with the labor of the day, he soon fell asleep and tumbled backwards into the well -- 83 feet deep, and containing 10 feet of water.  The body was reclaimed as soon as practicable, and a jury of inquest held over it, who gave for their verdict, "that the deceased came to his death by an accidental fall into a well, or by a bruise on the head in falling."

We are requested to state that he has several children some where in Virginia, and that his property will more than pay his debts.

Alex. Phenix

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Newspaper Tidbit: PWCo Court (1875)

Alexandria Gazette
September 11, 1875

At the September term of the County Court, J. Engle Smith was appointed and qualified by entering into bonds in $500 as overseer of the poor in Brentsville township.

Geo. W. Tansill and C. A. Cannon qualified as deputies of the county treasurer, W. W. Kincheloe.

The grand jury presented an indictment against William D. Lee for felony, charging him with burning the stackyard of Wm. L. B. Wheeler.

Manassas Russell was exempted from State and county capitation tax on account of old age.

Com. vs. Samuel Smith, charged with putting an obstruction on the Midland railroad.  The prisoner, a small negro boy, was prosecuted by the Commonwealth's attorney, assisted by Gen. Eppa Hunton, employed by the railroad company, and defended by Messrs. C. E. Sinclair and E. E. Meredith.  The jury took the case about sundown, but failing to agree, were kept until twelve o'clock Tuesday, when they were discharged, and a new trial ordered at the next term of the court.  It is said the first vote by the jury resulted in eleven for acquittal and one for conviction, and that one, Mr. Perry, held out to the last.

Com. vs. Wm. D. Lee; prisoner arraigned and pleaded not guilty, and one of his counsel, Judge Sinclair, appeared and demurred generally to the indictment, and on his motion the case was continued until next court.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friend of Friends Friday: Will: James Anderson (1806)

Prince William County Will Book I, pg. 171
12 March 1806; proved 1 Dec 1806

In the name of God Amen I JAMES ANDERSON SENIOR being in perfect memory but weak in body do make this my last will and testament.  I will that all my legal debts to paid and when it shall please God to call me hence from this trancetory world that my body to be decently bured in a certain hope of a joyfull resurrection through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Item. I will and bequeath to my well beloved wife MARY ANDERSON one third part of my estate during her natural life and at her decease to be equley divided among my children except my son JAMES that has got his part already.  Item 2 I will bequeath to my son JAMES ANDERSON one negro fellow named JOE one horse and mare two hogshead of tabco. & six poun cash which I consider as his part of my estate and he is not to have any more nor no clame hereafter. Item I will and bequeath that all and every part of my estate to be eqully divided among my other children only excepted as before excepted.  Item it is my will and desire that my well beloved wife MARY ANDERSON and PRESLEY WOOD[Y]ARD will be my Executors after my decease.  I have hereunto set my hand seal this twelfth day of March one thousand eight hundred and six.




At a Court held for Prince William County Decem 1st 1806.

The last will and testament of JAMES ANDERSON decsd was presented to the Court and being proved by the oaths of JOHN ROLLANS & HENRY HOPE was ordered to be recorded and MARY ANDERSON and PRESLEY WOODYARD the Exex. And Exor. mentioned in said will made oath to the same and having entered into bond with security, who justified according to law, certificate is granted them for obtaining a probate thereof in due form.



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thriller Thursday: Sad Death of Two Sisters (1913)

Manassas Democrat
January 2, 1913


Sad Deaths of Two Sisters

Miss Mamie Cooper and Sister, of Near Bealton, Struck by Engine 15 of Southern and Killed

Last Sunday afternoon as a party of young people were returning from making social calls two of them were killed by train No. 15 when they were within sight of home.  The fatal accident occurred near Bealton when Miss Mamie Cooper and her sister, to avoid No. 44 on the north bound track, stepped immediately in front of No. 15 which was south bound.

Two years ago their father, who was employed as track man, was killed in almost the same place, in the same manner, by the same train run by the same crew.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Military Monday: Manassas Battlefield to be Purchased

Manassas Democrat
March 3, 1921

Option on Site has been Obtained and Incorporation Conference Will Be Held in Washington Next Saturday

An option has been obtained by Maj. E. W. R. Ewing, past historian in chief, S.C.V., and Mr. Westwood Hutchinson, commander of Ewell Camp, U.C.V., for the purpose of buying the land on which the first battle of Manassas was mainly fought, and on which the second battle of Manassas closed, known as the Henry farm, with the privilege of purchasing, within two years from January 1, 1921, at the price of $25,000.

The Governor of each state of the South, the United Confederate Veterans and United Daughters of the Confederacy are invited to attend an organization meeting to be held at the Raleigh Hotel, Washington, D.C., on March 5, 1921, at which plans will be arranged under which title will be eventually held, and pursuant to which monuments will be erected, and the splendid battle museum, which comes also with the land at this price, will be conducted.

This site is beautiful for a memorial park, thirty miles from Arlington, 15 miles from historic Fairfax, 18 miles from enchanting Mount Vernon, 20 miles from Warrenton, the capital of Mosby's confederacy, and not much further from Chief Justice Marshall's old home, with Richmond within two hours' ride by automobile, and quaint old Manassas at the doorway.

It is planned that the meeting arrange for Incorporation, giving each Southern state and organization one member of the board.  ~Richmond Times Dispatch

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday's Obituary: Maria M. Hooe

Daily National Intelligencer (WAshington, DC)
September 19, 1834

At the residence of Mordecai Throckmorton, Esq. in Loudoun county, Virginia, on Friday, the 12th instant, after a protracted period of extreme suffering, Mrs. Maria M. G. Hooe, wife of John Hooe, Jr., Esq. of Locust Grove, Prince William County, and only daughter of the late Robert Gaines Beverly, of King George county.  A faithful and devoted wife, a most attentive and fond mother, an affectionate sister, and excellent neighbor -- her loss to her husband and daughter is indeed irreparable, and will be severely felt by her numerous relatives and friends.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friend of Friends Friday: Will: George Huber (1826)

Prince William County Will Book  M, pg 392
21 Mar 1826; proved 01 May 1826

I GEORGE F. HUBER of the Town of Dumfries County of Prince William and State of Virginia do make and constitute this my last will and testament hereby revoking all other wills by me made previous to this date.  Item, 1st it is my will that all debts by me owing should be first paid.  Item 2nd I will and bequeath to my wife VERLINDA HUBER all the real or landed property with its appurtenances (with the exceptions hereinafter mentioned) to which I have a title or interest during her natural life.  Item the third I give and bequeath to my nephew JOHN STANGLE and his heirs forever the house and lott in which he now lives known by the name of the Bake house lott.  Item 4th the land which I have by Item the second disposed of to my wife during her life it is my will that after her death it shall belong every part and parcel thereof to my nephew JOHN STANGLE and his heirs forever.  Item fifth I bequeath my gold watch to my wife VERLINDA during her life and after her death to ANN ELIZA STANGLE forever.  Item sixth I will and bequeath to my wife VERLINDA HUBER all my slaves during her life, and after her death I will to ANN ELIZA STANGLE negro girl Eliza and her increase, if any forever.  Item 7th after the death of my wife I will the slaves and their increase heretofore bequeathed to my wife to JOHN STANGLE forever.  Item the 8th I will that all the rest of my personal property not herein before specifically bequeathed be sold and the proceeds thereof applied to the payment of my debts.  And if there should be a balance remaining after my debts are paid I bequeath it to my wife.  Item the ninth I leave my tanyard and everything belonging thereto to my Executors hereinafter named to be by them or such of them as may qualify sold and the proceeds of the sale to be applied to the payment of my debts.  It is my will that the proceeds of the sale of my tan yard be first applied to the payment of my debts, and that the proceeds of the sale of my perishable property bequeathed to be sold be not applied in that way unless the money arising from the sale of the tanyard should be inadequate to the discharge of my debts.  Lastly I constitute and appoint Barnaby Cannon and James B. E. Thornton executors to this my last will and testament.  In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this the twenty first day of March one thousand eight hundred and twenty six.  I also appoint Wm. R. Chapman one of my executors.


Signed sealed and acknowledged in the presence of

At a Court held for Prince William County the 1st day of May 1826.  This last will and testament of George F. Huber decd. was presented to the Court and being proved by the oaths of John Merchant, Wm. E. Williams, & Davis Duty, witnesses thereto, is ordered to be recorded.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Current Affairs: One Last Word

On the Monday after the Memorial and Dedication Ceremony for the Lynn Cemetery on the 12th High School site, I was contacted by Moriah Balingit of The Washington Post for one last interview regarding the controversy and events of the past year.  I was a bit surprised but very grateful that The Post was interested in the ceremony and the closure that it brought to both Prince William County Schools and the Lynn family.

The Media is an interesting animal.  In this age of the Internet and instant information, it's a mighty tool that can be wielded to inspire and galvanize people and organizations into action for a common good.  Unfortunately, it can also be a weapon to perpetuate negativity.

It was the Media that first brought to light the discovery of the 11 graves on the 12th High School construction site and PWCS's rush to remove them to make way for their football stadium.  At the beginning of the storm, I and several of my Lynn cousins were contacted by reporters from many different newspapers and television stations.  That media scrutiny helped galvanize the public and historical community to fight for a tiny 19th century cemetery on the brink of extinction.

I am sincerely grateful to each and every periodical and reporter that took an interest and kept the story in the pubic eye until all parties were able to come to an amicable solution.  Of them all, two stand out for special thanks:

(1) Thank you to InsideNova for breaking the story in August 2013 and staying with it!  This small Northern Virginia newspaper led the charge.

(2) Thank you to The Washington Post.  Mike Ruane's front page article on December 3, 2013 was a balanced, well written piece that fairly reported both sides of the controversy and brought the story to an unexpected national level.  I'd also like to thank The Post for being the only periodical interested enough to stay with the story until its full closure with Saturday's Memorial and Dedication Ceremony, when former "adversaries" came together in compromise to honor the resting place of a 19th century farming family.

Following is the full text of Ms. Balingit's (9 September 2014) article, which can be found on the The Washington Post website.

By 2016, a now-rocky plot south of Manassas will be home to rowdy football games and a new high school.
But on Saturday, it was the site of a solemn moment as Prince William County school officials and members of a local family gathered to dedicate a burial plot for the remains from a more than century-old grave. The grave, which likely belonged to ancestors of the Lynn family, was unearthed when contractors were preparing to build playing fields for the new school.
With the ceremony, Prince William County Public Schools put to rest a controversy that pit the system against local historians and the Lynn family, whose roots run deep in the area.
Concerns arose in September 2013, when school officials announced their intentions to move the remains to a cemetery to make way for the football field. In November, local historians traced the land back to the Lynn family, and although the graves were unidentified and the remains were too degraded to extract DNA, strong circumstantial evidence — including land records — suggests that they belonged to ancestors of the Lynn family.
But by then, the dig couldn’t be stopped, school officials said. And the plan for the school could not be reconfigured to avoid the family grave site, schools spokesman Phil Kavits said.
Carolyn Lynn, a local genealogist and a direct family descendant, initially was upset that the remains were unearthed without thorough attempts to identify whom they might belong to and protested when officials said they would move them to another cemetery. They came to an agreement to rebury the remains in a spot not far from where they were discovered last month, Lynn said.
“I’m really quite pleased that ultimately we all came together and compromised,” Lynn said.
The remains are now in a fenced-in burial plot, marked with a plaque, that will sit not far from a school parking lot. The school system also commissioned a 197-page report by an archaeology firm that details the artifacts and human remains found at the site.
Lynn said she still wishes that the family grave had been left undisturbed.
“At the same time, if they hadn’t found the cemetery in their surveys at all, they could have just bulldozed and no one would have known it was there,” she said. “They’re still home. They’re about 925 feet further away.”

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Memorial & Dedication of Lynn Cemetery on PWCo High School Site

The Memorial Ceremony and Dedication of the Lynn cemetery on the 12th High School site took place on Saturday, September 6, 2014.  It was a poignant, respectful conclusion to a 12 month journey that began with a whirlwind of miscommunication, frustration, and media frenzy, but ultimately ended with Prince William County Schools (“PWCS”), Lynn family members, leaders in the historical community, neighbors, and the general public coming together to rescue a small 19th century family cemetery from oblivion.

When I saw the newly relocated and restored cemetery for the first time before Saturday’s ceremony, it brought me to tears.  The original field stone markers stand clean and upright amid newly planted periwinkle.  A shiny new memorial plaque near the entrance of a simple but attractive black fence reads:

This 19th century cemetery was moved from its original location in 2014 by Prince William County Schools during the high school construction.  The original location was 925 feet south-west from this spot.  Historical research and archeological evidence suggests that the cemetery includes the burials of William and Cordelia Lynn and their family.  This new cemetery is rededicated on William Lynn’s original tract of land.

With the aid of GPS and laser measurements made during the archeological excavation of the original cemetery, the 11 graves were reinterred as close to their original orientation and layout as possible.  All of the remains and artifacts were reinterred in the new cemetery.

Approximately 25 people attended Saturday’s Memorial Ceremony, which began with an opening prayer by Rev. Gene R. Wells of Woodbine Church and a greeting from David S. Cline, PWCS Assoc. Superintendent of Finance and Support Services.  It was a nice touch that the attendees in the audience were given the opportunity to introduce themselves and their interest in the proceedings.  More than a dozen of my Lynn family cousins were there to honor their ancestors and support the new cemetery.

Pastor Gene Wells
Pastor Gene explained that his church, Woodbine Baptist Church on Canova Drive in Independent Hill, was founded by Levi C. Lynn in May of 1875.  In a wonderful homage to the past, he used Levi's original 1875 Bible to tell the Biblical story of how Joseph’s bones were taken out of Egypt and into the Promised Land by his descendants.  Pastor Gene also spoke a bit of how his own search to discover the history of his church had led him to learn about the Lynn family and their involvement in PWCo. 

David Cline, Marte Nohe, and
Pastor Gene Wells
I was honored to be one of the speakers at the ceremony and used the opportunity to tell a bit more about the contributions made to PWCo by my Lynn ancestors.  I spoke about the land itself, and how much of Independent Hill in the 19th century was made up of farms owned by the Lynns or neighbors who married into the family.  But mostly, I spoke about the family we believe to be buried in the cemetery itself – that of William and Cordelia Lynn, my 2nd great grandparents, and their children.  I’m not quite certain how the attendees felt, but it was a moving moment for me to be able to speak those 11 names aloud just a few feet from their newly dedicated resting place.

Wreath laying - John Windley,
David Cline, Lillie Jesse, & Marte Nohe
Marte Nohe, County Supervisor for the Coles Magisterial District, acknowledge the contributions of the Lynn family to PWCo and how the county and community came together to work in compromise.  The new high school being built on what was once the William Lynn farm is just one more contribution toward the good that can be done for PWCo and its students.  One day soon, the 12th High School will begin to educate the county leaders of tomorrow.

Bagpiper Kevin Byrne, the husband of a PWCS teacher, played Amazing Grace as David Cline, Marte Nohe, School Board member Lille Jesse (Occoquan), and John J. Windley (PWCS Director, Office of Facilities Services) laid a silk wreath of autumn colors in the cemetery beside the new memorial plaque.

After the wreath laying, three generations of Lynn family descendants went into the cemetery to lay white roses on each of the 11 graves before Pastor Gene concluded with a closing prayer.

All in all, it was a touching and respectful ceremony to honor the final resting place for William and Cordelia Lynn and their children.

~ ~ ~

It was noted by David Cline that, because the cemetery is still within an active construction site, visitations in the immediate future will need to be coordinated with PWCS’s Office of Facilities Services.  However, when the 12th High School is completed in 2016, a small, tree-lined path will lead from the parking lot to the cemetery so that family may visit at any time.

~ ~ ~

Over the course of the past year, many people and organizations stepped forward to help resolve the issue of William and Cordelia's final resting place -- far too many to thank them all by name!  However, there are a select few that I personally would like to single out for special thanks:

(1) Bill Olson of the PWCo Historical Commission, who is a fierce advocate and force to be reckoned with when it comes to the preservation of PWCo's cemeteries, large or small.

(2) The wonderful staff/volunteers at RELIC for their invaluable research in determining that the cemetery is (almost certainly) that of William and Cordelia Lynn and their children.

(3) John Windley, PWCS Director of Facilities Services, who has worked closely with the Lynn family to come to a respectful, appropriate solution.  His professionalism and calmness throughout is greatly appreciated.

(4)  Last, and certainly not least, I would like to thank Pastor Gene Wells of Woodbine Church.  From the very beginning Pastor Gene has been a calming voice of reason in a raging storm.  He worked hard to bring all of the parties together (PWCS, Lynn family, county, and neighbors) to reach a peaceful conclusion to what began as a heated, volatile situation. Pastor Gene also planned the beautiful and touching Memorial Ceremony and Dedication from beginning to end, for which I will be forever grateful.

The Author standing with her ancestors.  (Photo by Pastor Gene Wells)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Event Reminder: Memorial Ceremony for Lynn Cemetery on HS Site

As mentioned in my earlier post, the Prince William County Public Schools will conduct a memorial/rededication service for the graves discovered at the 12th high school construction site at 10:00 AM on Saturday, September 6th, 2014. The public is invited to attend.  Since the graves are located on an active construction site and parking is a concern, PWCS requires that all attendees meet before 9:45 AM at the Edward Kelly Leadership Center 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas, VA 20112. Bus transportation will be provided from there to the ceremony site. Please do not drive to the high school site or enter the Independence Drive community to attend this ceremony.

I have been asked to be one of the speakers at the memorial service and am honored to do so.  Without engraved headstones or conclusive DNA results, it is doubtful posterity will ever be 100% certain who was buried in this small family cemetery; however, circumstantial evidence pieced together from land records, taxes, periodicals, and death records all point toward William and Cordelia Lynn and their children.  Through diligent research by the staff and volunteers at RELIC and aided by the findings of Thunderbird Archaeology, the eleven graves may be identified as the following members of William and Cordelia's family:
  • William Lynn, 1818-1862
  • Cordelia Lynn, ca. 1824-1899
  • John Henry Lynn, ca. 1840-1884
  • Robert Lynn, ca. 1842-1870
  • Lewellen Lynn, ca, 1844-1882
  • Wallace Lynn, ca. 1845- between 1860-1870
  • Ann Lynn, ca. 1851-1872
  • Sophia Lynn, ca. 1852-1862
  • Lucy Lynn, 1855-between 1870-1873
  • Seymour Lynn, 1858-1877
  • Mary Mildred Lynn, 1860-1877
I have to admit that I am not an especially good public speaker.  I'm much more comfortable behind a keyboard!  But I am looking forward to the opportunity to speak aloud the names of my LYNN ancestors -- especially great-grandfather John Henry and his parents William and Cordelia - who I believe to have been buried in the small 19th century cemetery on the 12th High School construction site.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Garrison/Lynn

Manassas Journal
April 11, 1913

Mr. Ronald Garrison, son of Jas. Garrison, and Miss Elsie V. Lynn, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lynn, all of Dumfries, this county, were married in Washington, Saturday, April 5.  The happy couple, upon their return home, were tendered a cordial and joyful reception at the home of the bride's parents.  Their many warm and admiring friends wish the newly married pair many years of unalloyed happiness and prosperity.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Leonard Lynn

Davis-Lynn-Moor Cemetery, Woodbridge, VA
(photo by C.Lynn)

November 22, 1846
Dec. 24, 1922

Leonard Lynn was the son of Alexander P. Lynn and Mary Jane Ashby.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Military Monday: Prince William Cavalry, Co. A., 4th Va. Cavalry

Manassas Journal
October 20, 1905

Prince William Cavalry, Co. A, 4th Va. Cavalry
[Prepared for The Journal by Mrs. Geo. W. Johnson]

Captain, William Willis Thornton
1st Lieut., P. D. Williams
2nd Lieut., A. D. Wroe
3rd Lieut., James M. Barbee
Orderly Sergeant, Thomas O. Thornton


J. T. Arundell
J. C. Lynn
Amos Benson
A. T. Lynn
Heywood Bridwell
John H. Lee
Albert Bridwell
C. H. Lambert
Monroe Bridwell
Ned Larkin
Lang Bridwell
George W. Larkin
_____ Bruffey
Charles Lewis
Chas. H. Brawner
T. W. Marders
Hammitt Claggett
Benj. D. Merchant
Alvah Cass
Frank Merchant
E. J.T. Clark
Philo Mitchell
James F. Clark
John Miner
Henry Carter
Reuben Miner
Charles L. Cushing
R. B. Lee McCrea [Macrae]
Thomas Cushing
Robert Manuel
Robert B. Cushing
Adolphus Marsteller
J. P. Cross
Y. H. Marsteller
Ham. Cross
Felix Muldoon
William Cockrell
George W. Nutt
George M. Colvin
Horatio Nelson
Clinton C. Colvin
Andrew Norman
Richard Colvin
Fielding Norman
George Colvin
Thadeus Newman
Lucien A. Davis
Lucien L. O’mera
S. S. F. Davis
James M. Peters
J. W. Davis
John S. Powell
R. M. Davis
B. L. Pridmore
Joseph Davis
Benjamin Pridmore
Charles E. Davis
Levi Pridmore
W. H. Dewy
J. D. Payne
Caleb S. Deats
Wm. L. Robertson
John C. Deats
Richard Shirley
Ellis A. Deats
Thomas S. Shirley
C. E. Donehoe
J. M. Shirley
C. W. Dunnington
J. R. Shirley
T. P. Elliott
Sidney Shirley
Maurice Evans
Samuel Sisson
Henry Evans
W. M. Simms
Hiram Eastman
G. A. Selectman
Madison Finch
George Selectman
John W. Fewell
T. B. Selectman
A. H. Finchsel
R. Selectman
Mathew Finegan
William Stone
N. B. Guy
Marshall Stone
J. M. Graham
R. H. Shephard
J. P. Gaines
Joseph Shepherd
Charles A. Graham
Carys Smith
W. S. George
Charles Smith
Adison George
J. M. Sinclair
F. W. Holmes
J. L. Sinclair
M. C. Holmes
W. H. Simms
Monroe Holmes
Robert Towles
John M. Herndon
Vivian Towles
Geo. W. Herndon
William Towles
Haywood Herndon
James Towles
Henry M. Holland
John G. Taylor
Robert W. Holland
Garland Taylor
R. E. Horton
J. N. Tolson
M. W. Horton
J. T. Williams
R. H. Haislip
John Williams
James Hulfish
J. F. Williams
John L. Hamet[t]
Wm. F. Williams
G. H. Hooe
Frank Williams
Ashley Holmes
William Wilkins
Robert Jewell
Jeff. Woodyard
George Jewell
E. V. Weir
Robert King
Robert W. Weedon
C. W. Keys
P. T. Weedon
Henry F. Lynn
Marshall B. Weedon
W. M. Lynn
C. H. A. Weedon
A. A. Lynn
Geo. M. Weedon
J[ohn] H[enry] Lynn
J. F. Wheat
L. W. Lynn
Luther Windsor
George Lynn
W. T. Washington
Benjamin Lynn

J. A. Lynn

Milton Lynn

Luther Lynn

Albert Lynn

At the reorganization of the army in ’62 and election of officers took place resulting as follows:

Captain, P. D. Williams
1st Lieut., Lucien A. Davis
2nd Lieut., Benjamin D. Merchant
3rd Lieut., Goerge Colvin
Orderly Sergeant, P. T. Weedon
2nd Sergenat, J. Taylor Williams
3rd Sergeant, Robert Towles

Soon after the reorganization, in the spring of ’63, Geo. Colvin died and officers under him advanced a step, and other elected, as follows:

2nd Lieut., Robert W. Weedon
3rd Sergeant, Absolam Lynn
4th Sergeant, Vivian Towles
1st Corporal, J. P. Gaines
2nd Corporal, R. H. Haislip
3rd Corporal, Amos Benson
4th Corporal, Andrew Norman

J. Taylor Williams was made Sergeant major of the Regiment by Col. Wickham and served through the Gettysburg Campaign.

William Willis Thornton (the first Captain) was made Major in the Commissary Department of Ewell’s forces and noted in that capacity until the close of the war.

Many members of Co. A were severely wounded.  John W. Fewell lost a leg at Five Forks. Lieut. B. D. Merchant had a long experience of prison live, and was one of those who were sent to Morris Island in Charleston Harbor.  Three died at Point Lookout and several others suffered long terms of prison life:  Charles H. Brawner, at Fort Delaware, and Luther Windsor, twenty months at Elmyra).

List of Dead of Co. A., 4th Virginia Cavlary

Captain P. D. Williams, killed at Raccoon Ford
George Colvin died of disease
J. T. Arundel, killed near Dumfries, by two negro prisoners
S. S. T. Davis, killed near Dumfries, by two negro prisoners
L. Bridwell, died of disease
W. S. Robinson, died of disease
Henry Evans, died of disease
Mathew Inegan, died of disease
D. C. Norman, died of disease
Thomas Cushing, killed near Warrenton
C. L. Cushing, killed at Appomattox
William H. Cockrell, killed at Raccoon Ford
Ellis A. Deats, killed at Aldie
T. P. Elliott, killed at Travillyan Station
A. A. George, died of disease
L. Lynn, died of disease
John H. Lee, killed at Fairfax
J. P. Monroe, died in prison
Thomas W. Marders, killed at White
W. S. Moore, killed at Spotsylvania
Horace Nelson, killed at Jack’s Shop
W. H. Selectman, killed at Jack’s Shop
Thomas S. Shirley, died in prison
William Stone, died in prison
Frank Williams, killed
Vivian Towles, killed at Travillyan Station
James Towles, killed at Spotsylvania C.H.