Sunday, June 28, 2015

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

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
6 June 1910

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

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

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friend of Friends Friday: Chloe Ashby

Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, NJ)
12 August 1884


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

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Newspaper Tidbit: Manassas Item (1917)

11 November 1917
Richmond Times Dispatch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Will: Mary Ralls (1804)

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

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

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

MARY [her mark] RALLS  {seal}


The two words or me was interlined for signed. 


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

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

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

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


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Church Record Sunday: Newspaper Tidbits

Alexandria Gazette
28 September 1860

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

Alexandria Gazette
19 October 1866

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

Alexandria Gazette
9 May 1867

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wednesday's Child: Edward Posey Merchant

Alexandria Gazette
28 October 1853

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Deed: Cole to Lipscomb (1860)

Cole to Lipscomb
Prince William County Deed Book 25, pg. 148

This Deed made this 20th day of January in the year 1860 between LAWRENCE COLE of the one part and PHILIP D. LIPSCOMB of the other part, both of the County of Prince William in the State of Virginia. Witnesseth that the said Lawrence Cole for and in consideration of the sum of seventy-five dollars lawful money of the state of Virginia in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, has granted bargained and sold and by these presents do grant bargain sell and convey unto the said Philip D. Lipscomb all that piece or parcel of land lying in the said County near the Town of Dumfries and containing fifteen acres more or less & is the same land conveyed by Gould D. Jelliff trustee to the said Cole as will be seen by the reference to the records of Prince William County Court.  To have and to hold the said piece or parcel of land unto the said Lipscomb and his heirs forever and the said Cole covenants to and with the said Lipscomb that will warrant generally the title to the piece or parcel of land hereby conveyed witnesseth following signature and seal.

Lawrence Cole {seal}

In the Clerk’s office of Prince William County January 28th 1860.

This Deed from Cole to Lipscomb was acknowledged by the Lawrence Cole and admitted to record.

Teste, P. D. Lipscomb

Monday, June 15, 2015

Will: John Woodyard, Sr. (1795)

Prince William County Will Book H, pg. 154
4 Nov 1795; proved 7 Dec 1795

Prince William County and State of Virginia, the 4th day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety five I JOHN WOODYARD Sen. of the County and State aforesaid being very weak of body but of perfect mind memory and understanding thanks be to God for the same calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing it is appointed for all men once to die do give and recommend my body to be buried in Christian decent burial at the discretion of my Executors, and my Soul to God who gave it me nothing doubting but at the General resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty Power of God and as touching such worldly estate, wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me with in this life I give, devise and dispose of in the following manner and form Viz.

Imprimis I give and bequeath unto my twelve children hereafter named, Viz. JAMES WOODYARD, DAVID WOODYARD, BENEDICTER WOODYARD, JOHN WOODYARD, JANE SMITH, WALTER WOODYARD and my other six children by ANN THOMAS Viz. MARY, JEBEZ, WILLIAM, SUSANNAH, GOERGE and JESSE, all my Estate, consisting of horses, cattle, sheep and other stock, goods, and chattels, after all my just debts and funeral expenses are fully satisfied, the above goods, stock and money or outstanding debts of every kind to be collected and all equally divided, among my twelve children above named by my Executors to them and their heirs forever.

Item ANN THOMAS is to have her bed she brought, her side saddle, lume, and other articles in my possession she brought into my family as her sole right and property, also ANN THOMAS is to remain if she inclines to live there, on my lots leased of COL. THOMAS BLACKBURN, the lives to come in the said lease, being my own life, my son JAMES WOODYARD and JOHN WOODYARD, if she should incline to leave the said lott my son JAMES to have and hold the same until the time expires or his heirs and sell and dispose of the same as best suits them.

Lastly, I constitute and appoint JAMES WOODYARD my oldest son, and GEORGE STONE, sole Executors of this my last will and testament , revoking and disannulling all former wills, testaments, legacies and requests, in Witness whereof I, the date above, and in the presence of the subscribing evidences of affixed my hand and seal.

JOHN [his mark] WOODYARD  {seal}

Interlined before signed.

Signed, sealed and delivered in presents of


At a Court held for Prince William County the 7th day of December 1795

This Last Will and Testament of JOHN WOODYARD decd. was presented to the Court by the Executors therein named, who made oath thereto, and the said Will being proved by the oaths of GEORGE RAINIE, JANE BIRD and HENRY WOODYARD was ordered to be recorded and the said Executors having performed what is usual in such cases, certificate is granted them for obtaining a probate thereof in due form.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sunday's Obituary: Williammina M. Thornton

Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, DC)
29 October 1823

Died, at Dumfries, in Virginia, on Friday the 24th instant, Mrs. WILLIAMMINA M., consort of Dr. JAMES B. C. THORNTON, resident of that place.  The circumstances of the death of this truly amiable young lady, being only eighteen years of age, and having been but three months married, have excited an unusual sympathy among a very numerous acquaintance.  She has left a fond fathe rand many relatives and friends to deplore her loss; but who, to feel so severely the pangs of separation, as her affectionate and disconsolate husband? Under this afflicting dispensation of Providence, it will be a gratification to her friends to know that, more than twelve months since, she professed to have experienced a change of heart; and those who know her in private life, knew that she lived in the constant discharge of her religious duties, with a feverency of devotion that could alone have arisen from a heart influenced by the spirit of the most High.

Of manners gentle, and of form complete,
Fair without art, good without deceit,
Each grace, each virtue ripening into bloom,
Could  not avert the inevitable doom;
Death saw the flower when the stroke was given,
Too sweet for earth, and planted it in heaven.

Alexandria, 27th October, 1823

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wednesday's Child: Ulysses Grant Cooper

Valley View Cemetery, Nokesville, VA

In Loving Remembrance of


Son of 

T. J. and V. C. Cooper

Born Feb. 27, 1875

Died May 19, 1912

Aged 17 yr. 2 mo. 20 ds.

A precious one from us has gone
A voice we loved is still
A place is vacant in our home
Which never can be filled
God in his wisdom has recalled
The boon his love has given
And though the body moulders here
The soul is safe in heaven

~ ~ ~

Manassas Democrat
23 May 1912


U. G. Cooper, seventeen years old, died of typhoid pneumonia in his home near Aden Sunday noon.  The funeral took place from the home Monday afternoon, and interment was in Valley View church cemetery.

The pall bearers were: M. S. Kerun, R. T. Jones, Joe Horn, Capper Knupp, Gordon Bailey and O. W. Brill.

A sister of the deceased was extremely ill of the same dread disease at the time of her brother's death, with little hope of recovery, both having contracted the malady at about the same time.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: John R. Woodyard

Valley View Cemetery, Nokesville, Va.


Dec. 30, 1853

April 5, 1895

John R. Woodyard was the son of Matthew and Maria Woodyard.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sunday's Obituary: Mary (Dowell) Smith

Sun (Baltimore, MD)
20 July 1904


Manassas, Va., July 19 -- Mrs. Mary Smith, wife of Rev. Robert Smith, of the Methodist Episcopal Church South of this place, died suddenly of apoplexy at her home on Centre street Sunday, aged 78 years.  Mrs. Smith was a daughter of the late James Dowell, of Dumfries.  She was a devoted Christian mother and loving wife.  Her husband is now 87 years of age.  Mrs. Smith had resided here for about 20 years.  Her funeral took place from the Methodist Episcopal Church South Monday afternoon.  Rev. S. K. Cockrell, officiating.  The interment was in the cemetery near this town.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Society Saturday: Supper at Ben Lomond Farm

Manassas Journal
31 December 1931


Ben Lamond, the old stone mansion of C. C. Lynn, was illuminated and beautifully decorated Monday night when Mr. Lynn gave a turkey supper to a number of his friends.

Those present were Hon. Geo. Herring, member of House of Delegates; Mr. Harry Ryan, Mr. Harry Ryan, jr., and Howard Ryan, of Washington; Wm. Leachman, E. R. Conner, J. C. Kincheloe and Robt. Smith, of Manassas.

After supper they played cards until 10:30.  Then they all left for their respective homes after bidding their host and hostess, Mr. and Mrs. Lynn, good night and wishing them a bountiful turkey crop for the coming year.