Friday, January 30, 2015

Will: Susannah Tharp (1809)

Prince William County Will Book I, pg. 442
12 June 1809; proved 07 Aug 1809

In the name of God Amen I SUSANNAH THARP of the County of Prince William and State of Virginia being sick and weak of body but blessed be God of perfect sence and memory do ordain and appoint this my last will and testament and first I do give and recommend with hope my soul to God and my body to be decently buried by my Executors hereafter mentioned.  Item it is my will and desire that all my just debts be paid and then the whole residue of my estate be equally divided amoungst my two children viz. JOHN STEWART and NANCY CHICK.  Viz. three negro men called and known by the name of JACOB, JESSE and RICHARD.  I also give and bequeth unto my beloved children JOHN STEWART and NANCY CHICK all my stock of horses cattle sheep and hogs together with household and kitchen furniture and I do appoint JOHN FERGUSON my hole and sole Executor of this my last will and testament hereby revoking and disannuling all former wills made by me and declaring this only to be my last.  In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal, this 12th day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and nine.


This within will was signed sealed and published by SUSANNAH THARP to be her last will and testament in the presence of us.


At a Court of Quarterly Sessions held for Prince William County Aug 7th 1809

This last will and testament of SUSANNA THARP decd was presented in Court  and being proved by the oaths of THOMAS THURMAN and JAMES FEWELL is ordered to be recorded.



Thursday, January 29, 2015

Winter Programs at PWCo Historic Sites

January 29
Lecture:  Mission to Tokyo
7pm: Free, donations accepted
Author and Historian Robert F. Dorr will speak about the experiences of American airmen in the Pacific and his own experience researching and writing about them. The talk is drawn from his book, "Mission to Tokyo," a character-driven, Stephen Ambrose-style history of B-29 Superfortress bomber crews and their leaders in World War II. Bob says he has some new insights into the final months of the allies' war against Japan, including the March 10, 1945, firebombing of the Japanese capital and the bombing of Hiroshima. Bob's presentation includes real-life characters as diverse as Curtis LeMay and Yoko Ono, and even a couple of little-known facts about the Pentagon.
Old Manassas Courthouse 9248 Lee St., Manassas, VA, 703-792-4754

February 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28
Lucasville School Open Weekends
11am- 4pm: Free, donations accepted
Visit a reconstructed 19th century school used by the community of Lucasville.  Learn surprising facts of African American history in Prince William County and throughout the Northern Virginia region.
Lucasville School 10516 Godwin Dr., Manassas, Va, 703-365-7895

February 21                                                                                                                                                                                  
Up from Slavery: The African American Experience at Ben Lomond                                                  
11am-4pm; $5 per person, children 6 and under free                                                            
Ben Lomond Historic Site is proud to present special guided tours and living history presentations in recognition of African American History month. Visitors can explore the historic home and the original slave quarter to learn about the enslaved population living at Ben Lomond in the years before the Civil War. Renowned slave interpreter Marion Dobbins will give a riveting first person performance on the life of a female slave.     
Ben Lomond Historic Site, 10321 Sudley Manor Dr., Manassas, VA 703-367-7872

February 26
Lecture:  Air Cav Reminiscences of a Vietnam Veteran
7pm: Free, donations accepted
In commemoration of both Black History Month, and the 50th Anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War, join us for a unique look at the war in Vietnam as told by Mr. John Davis, US Army retired, an African-American soldier who served in D Troop 3rd squadron 5th Cavalry which was a reconnaissance branch of the 9th Infantry Division. Air Cav was a new concept during the Vietnam War.  John will recount his experiences while “in country”   
Old Manassas Courthouse, 9248 Lee Street, Manassas VA, 703-792-4754

Looking Ahead

March 21-22
Lee’s Retreat to Appomattox – Two Day Bus Tour
$350 per person (inquire on double occupancy rates), two lunches, one dinner, and hotel room included in price, reservations required
To commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, this tour will follow in the footsteps of Lee and Grant’s armies from Petersburg to Appomattox.  Participants will get a behind the scenes view into one of America’s biggest dramas and see where our nation was reunited.  Tour will include admission to Petersburg National Battlefield Park, Sailor’s Creek Battlefield State Park, Appomattox National Historic Park, Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox and various other stops along the retreat route.  Tour includes transportation, all meals and overnight lodging. 
For reservations, call Ben Lomond Historic Site at 703-367-7872

May 16
After the War Symposium:  A One Day Symposium on the Effects of the Civil War          
9am-5pm; $10 per person, reservations required
This one day symposium will look into the end of the Civil War and the effects of the war on the nation.  Topics include the surrender of the Confederate armies, Freedmen’s Bureau, women during Reconstruction, post war effects on soldiers and Civil War memory.  Speakers will include Robert Dunkerly, Dr. Jane Censer, John Coski, Emmanuel Dabney, John Hennessy and George Wunderlich.  Symposium is co-sponsored by the Prince William County, City of Manassas, Prince William County Historic Commission and Historic Prince William.  Symposium will take place at the Old Manassas Courthouse, 9248 Lee Ave., Manassas, VA
For reservations, call the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division office at 703-792-4754

For more information on Historic Preservation in Prince William County please see or contact them at or call703-792-4754

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday's Obituary: John Meredith Hooe

Richmond Times Dispatch
21 October 1916

Manassas, Va., October 20 -- The funeral of John Meredith Hooe, deputy sheriff of Prince William County, who died on Tuesday of hemorrhage of the brain, was held yesterday at Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, South.  The pastor, Rev. E. A. Roads, was assisted by Rev. Alford Kelley, pastor of the Manassas Presbyterian Church, and Rev. J. Royal Cooke, pastor of the Greenwich Presbyterian Church, of which Mr. Hooe was a member.  Five Prince William County councils of the order of Fraternal Americans took charge of the service at the grave.  Mr. Hooe was a member of Aden Council.

Mr. Hooe was forty-six years old and a nephew of the late Representative Elisha E. Meredith, of Virginia.  His wife and seven children survive.

[John Meredith Hooe is buried beside his wife, Margaret Bertha Kiewit Hooe, in the Manassas Cemetery, Manassas, Va. ~ cgl]

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Newspaper Tidbit: Will of Late Redmon Foster

Manassas Journal
24 January 1913


Several Lady Friends Remembered by the Testator in Small Bequests

The last will and testament of the late Redmon Foster, who died December 26, 1912, has just been probated.

The instrument, which is written in the testator's hand writing with an indelible pencil and upon common writing paper, contains an unsigned codicil by which he disposes of his wearing apparel, bed clothing and a few articles of furniture, to Miss Ella Fogle and to Miss Effie Hale the sum of $30.  After providing for the payment of his funeral expenses and all other just liabilities, he makes provision for the following legacies:  Mrs. Jas. R. Dorrell and Miss Lillian Jones, each $50; Mrs. Wm. E. Lipscomb, Mrs. Nettie Garrison, and Mayan Shacklett, each $50; Mrs. Herbert Tolson $30; and Misses Pocahontas Lynn, Faith Chapman, Lucy Harrison, Maude Hall, Stella Kesky and Violet Scott, each $30.  The remainder of the estate is bequeathed to Mrs. Jas. R. Dorrell and Miss Lillian Jones, share and share alike.  The will is dated December 4, 1912, and Thos. H. Lion is named as executor of the same.

It has been stated by some of the testator's closest friends, who have known him for a period of over fifty years, that he has some twenty or thirty thousand dollars in United States bonds besides other bonded assets.  We understand that none of the bonds, with the exception of $3,000, have yet been located.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Newspaper Tidbit: Prominent Men of PWCo

Manassas Journal
10 September 1904

Hon. C. E. Nicol
Judge of the 16th Judicial Court

Capt. Jas. E. Herrell

Edwin Nelson
Clerk Circuit Court

R. H. Hooe
Commissioner of Revenue
District No. 1

Doctor H. M. Clarkson
Superintendent of Schools

Hon. W. C. Wagener
Mayor of Manassas

Hon. J. B. T. Thornton
Commonwealth's Attorney
Member of the late Constitutional Convention

Hon. Thomas H. Lion
Member House of Delegates

Hon. Wm. E. Lipscomb
Ex-Judge County Court

F. C. Rorabaugh

James M. Barber
Commissioner of Revenue
District No. 2

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Marriage Licenses

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
23 December 1905

Marriage licenses have been issued to the following:

Frank Dixon and Mamie S. Jackson
Robert H. Sims and Marle A. Garrison
Jesse Twyman and Addie Williams
James Felder and Alice Banks
William E. Higgins and Rosalle Groves
Theophilus B. Houston and Maud I. Glass, both of New York city
Henry M. Milburn of Detroit, Mich., and Grace E. Buchanan of this city
Ernest Henderson and Mamie Robinson
Alfred Clark and Bessie Love, both of Prince William county, Va.
Louis A. Schaefer and Etehl E. Wright, both of Baltimore, Md
Joseph Bolden and Alrene [Arlene?] Christian
Benjamin Curtis Miller of Martinsburg, W. Va and Cornelia S. Finley of this city
Jolle M. Gastra of this city and Eelkjen H. Youngsma of Douglass, Mass
George W. Evans and Ellen C. Dorsey
Alexander Deavers and Nora Goldenstein
James Bailey of this city and Lizzie Coats of Vienna, Va

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday's Obituary: William P. Hereford

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
27 September 1905


Resident of Virginia and Veteran of Seminole War

Dr. William P. Hereford, a well-known resident of Prince William county, Va., died a few days ago at his home, near Wellington, in the eighty-ninth year of his age.  Dr. Hereford was a veteran of the Seminole war in Florida, and is said to have been the last survivor of that conflict with the Indians.  He was one of the two messengers that brought the news of the capture of Osceola from the battleground to the outside world.

He practiced medicine in this city long before the civil war.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Will: John Biggs (1805)

Prince William County Will Book I, pt. 62
7 Apr 1804; proved 2 Sep 1805

In the name of God Amen I JOHN BIGGS of the County of Prince William being sick and weak of body but of sound and perfect memory do make constitute and appoint this my last will and testament in manner following that is to say after all my just and lawful debts are paid my desire is that my loving wife ELISABETH shall keep all my property together for the support of my children as hereafter named Viz. ANN, ELENOR, WILLIAM, FANNY, JAMES & ELIZABETH.  My further desire is that if my wife should marry she shall in that case be allow3ed a third party of my property and finally my will and desire is that after the death of my wife the whole of my property of what kind soever shall be divided among my children as above named and allotted and take possession of the residue for the benefit of my loving children aforesaid and hereby ordain, constitute my good friend FRANCIS MANUEL SENR. Executor of this my last will revoking and making void all wills heretofore made.  In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seale this seventh day of April 1804.

JOHN BIGGS  {seal}

Signed sealed published & declared as and for the last will & testament of the above named JOHN BIGGS in the presence of us


At a Court held for Prince William County Sept. 2nd 1805.

This last will and testament of JOHN BIGGS decd. was presented to the Court and being proved by the oath of HENRY D. HOOE was ordered to be recorded.



Monday, January 12, 2015

Military Monday: Services Accept 23 Manassas Selectees

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
25 July 1943


Manassas, Va., July 24 -- Twenty-three of the 39 white selectees sent to Richmond for induction July 16, were accepted by the Army, Navy and Marine Corp.  Seventeen have been ordered to report for duty Friday at Camp lee.  They are:

Hughes, Norman B.
Cornwell, Emory L.
Weatherholtz, T.M.
White, Alvin R.
Speakes, Hilleary J.
Chenault, Homer C.
Monaghan, T.D.
Gregory, James L.
Kincheloe, Lloyd
Bell, Earl F.
Showalter, R.W.
Ambrose, John
Kelly, Ernest T.
Somers, Glen L.
Kellison, Lewis A.
MacKenzie, J.D.
Hereford, Hobert D.

Four who reported to Richmond this week to be assigned to duty in the Navy include Wallace H. Lynn, Marvin K. Wells, Richard C. Hayden, jr., and Theodore A. Nelson.

Benny Otho Weaver and Joseph Anthony Jagiello of Quantico were accepted by the Marine Corp.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday's Obituary: Rev. Andrew Cather

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
20 June 1905

The remains of Rev. Andrew Cather, whose death occurred yesterday morning at his home in Prince William county, were forwarded last evening to Philadelphia for interment.  Mr. Cather was a venerable minister of the Methodist Church.  He owned a large estate near Manassas.

21 June 1905
Philadelphia Inquirer

CATHER.  At Wellington, Va., on June 19, 1905.  Rev. ANDREW CATHER, aged 75 years.  Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the funeral services to-day (Wednesday), 21st inst. at the Asbury M. E. Church, Chestnut st., above 33d st.  Interment private.

Sun (Baltimore, MD)
22 June 1905

Alexandria, Va., June 21 -- Rev. Andrew Cather, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, died at Manassas on Monday.  His remains were brought to this city yesterday and not Philadelphia.*

Richmond Times Dispatch
29 June 1905

Rev. Andrew Cather

Fredericksburg, VA, June 28 -- Rev. Andrew Cather, of Prince William county, died last week.  He is survived by his widow and several children.

* Although the Baltimore Sun seems convinced that Rev. Cather was buried in their city, the funeral was held in Philadelphia which implies he may have been interred in the Asbury M.E. church cemetery. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sibling Saturday/Lost Heirlooms: Genevieve and Lois Chapin (circa 1904)

If you take a stroll through an antique store or flea market, you're likely to turn up an old shoe box full of photographs, papers, diaries, and other ephemera that were once someone's pride and joy.  It's sad to see what was once a family's treasure treated as so much junk, to be sold or discarded without regard to the history or memories they contain.  Fortunately, there are good Samaritans who love to rescue such heirlooms and try to return them to a descendant who will treasure them once again.

One of the most recent online trends is the discovery and re-homing of "Lost and Found Heirlooms."  Some websites are devoted to lost photographs, such as DeadFred, while others are more comprehensive.  Not every site is altruistic, however.  There are quite a number of dealers who are out to make a profit on what is now a trending hobby, but for the most part I've found that there is a genuine desire in the online genealogy community to restore an heirloom to its rightful family.

My cousin Gentsia was the recipient of one such gift from a genealogical good Samaritan.  She received a notice via from a gentleman who traveled frequently and loved to visit antique stores looking for lost heirlooms.  While in Ashland, Oregon, he came across a large cache of photographs, many of which were identified via handwriting on the back.  He then set about trying to identify living family members via Ancestry's family trees and found Gentsia's Keys/Lynn genealogy.

The photographs (18 in all) date to the early 1900's and appear to include members of PWCo's Keys/Chapin/Lynn family.  Gentsia has kindly given me permission to share the photos on this blog, so keep an eye out for them in future posts. (Thank you, Gentsia!!)

Today, I'll begin with a photograph of young Genevieve Chapin and Lois Chapin, daughters of Alyce (Keys) and Paul Chapin.  Genevieve was born 8 September 1897 in Washington, DC and sister Lois was born 19 July 1902.  The photo below is marked as "Genevieve and Lois about 1904."

Genevieve and Lois (Chapin) about 1904
If you're looking for a good starting place to find or share lost heirlooms, I suggest Cydi's List  - Lost & Found General Resources

Once again, a big THANK YOU to Gentsia for sharing the photographs and to Mr. M. Cassara for taking the time to rescue them (and for sending them to Gentsia free of charge at that!).

Monday, January 5, 2015

Military Monday: PW Board Calls Married Men to Fill Draft Quota (1943)

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
01 March 1943


Supply of Single Men Exhausted as 100 Face Induction This Month

 Manassas, Va., March 1 —The Prince William County Selective Service Board has exhausted its supply of single men and dipped into the list of married men without children to fill a March call for 100 selectees, the largest yet made in the county.

Seventy-two white men have been called for induction March 8. Twenty-eight are scheduled to go March 27.

C. C. Clove, chairman of the local board, said there are still enough single colored men to fill a March 23 call for 13.

The following white men have been notified to appear for induction March 8:

Malone, Harry R.
Di Filippo, Luneo C.
Halary, Vivian G.
Sowers, Glen L.
Wine, Charles H. Jr.
Street, Tolly R.
Thomas, Carroll B.
Clemen, Ray T.
Lewis, Rosier B.
Sloper, Daniel R.
Kline, James D.
Hoffman, Berkeley O.
Lettner, Clyde L.
Wells, John T.
Conner, Alvin E.
Ellis, James L.
Posey, Wayne E.
Bourne, Wallace S.
Lion, Paul E.
Phillips, Roy R.
Brown, William M.
Gladley, Charles V.
Blakemore, Frank L.
Cusick, Vincent M.
Berryman, Alfred
Sieger, G. E. Jr.
McLean, John T.
Hornbaker, Frank W.
Mills, Leon C.
Liming, Clinton W.
Weaver, Willard C.
Kincheloe, Jack E.
Crouch, Maurice
Rison, Russell C.
Harris, Ivan L.
Canham, Donald R.
Payne, Howard C.
Sowers, Lewis M.
Samsky, Andrew F.
Stanley, Amos
Cornwell, Charles R.
Bailey, Randolph H.
Papa, Frank
Upton, Thomas W.
Broaddus, J. T. Jr.
Dawson, Hugh L.
Crabill, Charles W.
Murphy, Jerry L.
Breeden, Jesse R.
Leonard, Nelson H.
Davis, Douglas C.
Breeden, James A.
Robinson, James H.
Worley, Lawrence D.
Woodyard, Aylette M.
Claybourne, D. W.
Dodson, Douglas O.
Funkhouser, L. H.
Mooney, Eugene L.
Florence, Paul W.
Jewell, Harvey L.
Randall, Frank W.
Lynn, William N.
Pitts, Carroll L.
Yancey, Cecil R.
Abel, David L.
Landes, Ernest C.
Dolan, Percy E.
Deihl, Saylor F.
Harper, Raymond L.
Coleman, L. C.
Abel, Osie N. Jr.

Colored men ordered to report to Richmond March 23 are:

Johnson, Louis E.
Tyler, Elmo R.
Jordan, Odie
Johnson, E. R.
Peters, J. M. Jr.
Hughes, Ernest L.
White, Earl L.
Johnson, James R.
Byrd, Weldon L.
Ray, George R.
Grigsby, William
Street, Carson

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sunday's Obituary: Edwin Nelson, Circuit Court Clerk

The Sun (Baltimore, MD)
13 February 1911


Edwin Nelson, Ex-Legislator, of Manassas, Va., Dead

Manassas, Va., Feb. 12 -- Edwin Nelson, for 40 years Clerk of the Circuit Court of Prince William County, and holding other offices of public trust, died here today after a lingering illness of a complication of diseases in his eightieth year.  The funeral will take place from the Primitive Baptist Church Tuesday afternoon, and interment will be made in the Confederate Cemetery.

The widow, three sons, John H. Nelson, connected with the Interstate Commerce Commission, C. Paul Nelson, of Charlestown, W. Va., and James E. Nelson, of this place, and two daughters, Mrs. A. O. Weeden, of New Baltimore, Va., and Mrs. Albert Speiden, of Manassas, survive.

Mr. Nelson represented Prince William county in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1878-79 and was 'one of the strongest advocates of the famous McCulloch bill, through which the Virginia debt question was settled.

[Edwin Nelson was a Lieutenant in the Fifteenth Virginia Cavalry, Co. H.  A more detailed obituary can be found on page 1 of the 16 February 1911 edition of the Manassas Democrat, which includes a photograph. ~cgl]

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Will: Samuel Keys (1820)

Prince William County Will Book L, pg. 351
30 Oct 1820; proved 05 Dec 1820

In the name of God Amen I SAMUEL KEYS of Prince William County & State of Virginia, being of sound mind and memory do make this my last will and testament viz. I give & bequeath unto my loving wife ELIZABETH KEYS one third of my estate.  Namely three head of horses, three head of cattle, three feather beads, & furniture, one old desk, one old pine table, five common chairs, one knife box, half dozen knives & forks, half doz. Common table spoons, on chest, three bead steads, one washing tub, three pigings & one pail, two puter basons, one pewter dish, 1 iron candle stick, one spining wheel, one loom, two iron pots, one spider, one dutch oven.  Also one cary plough, two dutch ploughs, & gear and one third of the crop of corn fodder & c. now in my possession the hogs now in the pen & corn, I leave for the support of all my children, and after all my just debts are paid I give & bequeath unto my two last children by marriage (namely WALLACE KEYS and LETICIA KEYS all the residue of my estate to be equally divided among them.)  Given under my hand and seal this 30th day of October, 1820.


Signed sealed & delivered in presence of

At a Court Continued and held for Prince William County December 5th 1820

This last will and testament of SAML. KEYS decd. was presented to the Court & being proved by the oaths of COLIN HAYES & JOSEPH R. GILBERT is ordered to be recorded.

Teste, PHIL. D. DAWE

Friday, January 2, 2015

Friend of Friends Friday: Ranaway: David Musy

Alexandria Gazette
17 December 1859

$250 REWARD. -- Ranaway from the subscribers, at Alexandria, Va., on the night of the 20th of October, a negro man named DAVID MUSY.  Said negro is black, about five feet seven inches high, weight about one hundred and fifty pounds, and is twenty-one or two years of age; full suit of hair; a scar or mark on the right cheek; likely, with good teeth.  He is doubtless making his way to a free state.  We will give the above reward for taking and securing so that we get him again. [nov 5 - eotf]

A. S. Grigsby & Co.