Monday, March 30, 2015

Will: Nancy Johnson (1823)

Prince William County Will Book M, pg 105
08 Oct 1823; proved 03 Nov 1823

In the name of God Amen I NANCY JOHNSON of the County of Prince William & State of Virginia, being sick & weak of body but of sound mind and memory thanks be unto God & calling to mind that it is appointed for all mankind once to die do make & ordain this as my last will & testament.  I.E.  I give and bequeath my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it hoping at the last general resurrection to receive the same again.  My body I give unto the dust to be buried in decent christian burial at the kind disposal of my friends.  The little goods which it has pleased providence in his mercies to bless my honest endeavors with I bequeath to my grand daughter JANE WEBSTER, daughter of JNO. WEBSTER & CHLOE my daughter his wife vi z one feather bed & bedding belonging thereto stead & three head of cattle & then increase four head of hogs & then increase with the remains of my household & kitchen furniture, farming utensils loom & gears & with all and singular my goods & chattles which I now or may in any wise belong to me at my decease the necessary burial & expenses excepted & I do hereby declare this to be my last will and testament revoking all others given under my hand & seal this eight day of October eighteen hundred and twenty three.


Signed sealed & delivered in the presence of

At a Court of Quarterly Sessions held for Prince William County November 3d 1823.

This last will and testament of NANCY JOHNSON decd. was presented to the court and being proved by the oaths of the witnesses thereto is ordered to be recorded.

Teste,  P. D. DAWE

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday's Obituary: William C. Foley

Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield, IL)
8 March 1902

FOLEY -- Died at 4:15 o'clock, Friday morning, March 7, 1902, at the family residence, 625 South Seventh Street, after an illness of two days, William C. Foley, aged 93 years, 9 months and 22 days.

Mr. Foley had been in good health until two days ago.  He then became ill, but at the time he was not thought to be more than slightly indisposed.  When serious symptoms developed the family became alarmed, and every effort was made to save his life, but he failed to rally.

Mr. Foley was born in Mt. Atlas, Prince William county, Virginia, in the year 1808.  Virginia offered few inducements to a boy with ambition, and when a young man he decided to come to Illinois and make the great state his home.  When thirty years of age he arrived in Springfield, settled down here to live and had since made the capital his home.

Miss Elizabeth E. Hutchinson became his wife June 16, 1840, the anniversary of his birth, and the second year of his residence in Springfield.  Seven children were born of the union, all of whom survive.  They are: John W. Foley, Pleasant Plains; William C. and Thomas E. Foley of this city; Anna V. Foley; Mrs. A. B. Mars; Misses Elizabeth C. and Flora F. Foley, all residing in Springfield.

Mr. Foley had been a familiar figure in Springfield for many years.  He had witnessed the growth of the city from a mere village to its present proportions; had seen the early struggles of its pioneers and was familiar with the stirring events of the last half century of the state's growth.

The funeral will be held at 2:30 o'clock Sunday afternoon at the family residence and the service will be private.  It is requested that no flowers be sent.  The burial will be made in Oak Ridge Cemetery.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday's Faces from the Past: Keys-Chapin Family (?)

Below is another of the photographic treasures found in a California antique store that I mentioned in my January 10, 2015 post about Lost Heirlooms.  Like many lost heirlooms, this photo had nothing written on the back to identify the subjects or the place where the photo was taken.  This photo was included with a cache of prints identified as belonging to the Keys-Chapin family, so for the moment I am assuming that this grouping represents members of that family.

Do any of of these faces look familiar to you?  Does the location?  Can you estimate the year the photo was taken by the style of clothing?  If you found this photograph, alone and unassociated with a family name, how would YOU determine who/what/when?

Again, many thanks to my cousin Gentsia for permission to post and share her photos!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Newspaper Tidbit: Cared for at Almshouse (Edith Davis)

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
7 March 1898


Mrs. Edith Davis, the elderly woman from Brentsville, Prince William county, Va., who came here looking for a home and landed in the Police Court Thursday, as published in The Star at the time, is being cared for at the almshouse.  Judge Kimball has received an anonymous letter concerning the woman, a ticket to her home and $1 being inclosed.  A letter from a resident of Brentsville, also received by Judge Kimball, gave the information that the writer did not remember the woman.  It is the court's desire to send her to some place in Virginia where there is a charitable institution, as she belongs in that state, but he has not determined what action would be proper.  The day she surrendered to the police she declared she would not return home.

Evening Star
3 March 1898


A little old woman got off an Alexandria ferry boat yesterday afternoon and inquired for the  nearest police station.  She was directed to the fourth precinct, on E street, southwest, where she afterward appeared and made known the object of her visit to this city.  To Sergeant Smith she gave her name as Edith Davis, and said she had come here for the purpose of getting a home.  The sergeant found that she could  not get in the almshouse, as she is a non-resident.

"The only thing I can do," he explained to her, "is to take you to court, and you may have to go to the workhouse."

"Anywhere," she said.  "All that I want is a home."

Although her appearance indicated that she is not far from seventy years old, she declares she will not be forty-eight until the 29th of next July.  This morning she was in the Police Court on a charge of vagrancy.  She said she had walked from Brentsville, Prince William county, Va., to Alexandria, and had paid 10 cents to come over on a ferry boat.  She starred from Brentsville last Friday, she said, and people in the county were kind enough to feed her and give her lodgings.

For several years, she says, she has lived from house to house.  She refuses to return home, and the court committed her to give time to communicate with the woman's friends in Virginia.

[If Edith Davis had, indeed, been 48 years of age at the time of this incident, she would have been born 29 July 1851. ~cgl]

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday's Child: Josephine Hanna / John Jenkyn Davies

Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, DC)
24 October 1842

DEATH.  On Thursday morning, the 20th instant, in Occoquan, Prince William county, Virginia, Josephine, youngest daughter of Francis and Eliza F. Hanna, aged 5 months and 9 days.

Manassas Journal
8 December 1916

Funeral at Trinity Church

Funeral services for John Jenkyn Davies, five-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Davies, who died last Thursday in Baltimore, took place Saturday at Trinity Episcopal Church.  Interment was made int he Manassas cemetery.  The services were conducted by the rector, Rev. J. F. Burks.

The pallbearers were four little boys -- Hawes Davies, jr., James Jenkyn Davies, Allison A. Hooff, jr., and John Bowling Hooff.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Annie E. (Keys) Tolson

Woodbine Church Cemetery, Independent Hill, VA

Jan. 12, 1867
Mar. 18, 1933

Manassas Journal
23 March 1933


Mrs. Annie E. Tolson, wife of Mr. L. G. Tolson, died at her home near Independent Hill, Va., March 18, in her 67th year.  Mrs. Tolson had been in ill health for several years and a great sufferer for the past few months.

She leaves to mourn her loss a husband, two sons, Messrs. Clay and Claude Tolson of Washington, D.C., also a brother, Mr. Billie Keys of North Carolina and a large number of relatives and friends.

She was a loving wife and a kind mother.  Her remains were laid to rest on Sunday in Woodbine churchyard.  Rev. Miller, pastor of Minnieville Baptist church, officiated.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Amanuensis Monday: Will: Hubberd Saunders (1851)

Hubberd Saunders Will
PWCo Will Book Q, page 6

In the name of God Amen, I Hubberd Saunders, in this my last will and testament, do bequeath to my beloved wife Livea all of my Estate that is to say all money in hand, on money due, and all of my personal and real Estate for her and her heirs, forever.

Given under my hand and seal this 12th day of July 1851.

Hubbard Saunders {seal}

Signed sealed and acknowledged in the presence of us.

R. F. Brawner
Frances Robertson

In Prince William County Court, march 1st 1852

This last will and testament of Hubbert Saunders decd was proved according to law by the oaths of R. F. Brawner & Frances Robertson witnesses thereto & ordered to be recorded and the motion of Redmon F. Brawner who made oath & together with Philip D. Lipscomb his security entered into & acknowledged a bond in the penalty of $300 conditioned as the law directs. Certificate is granted and the said Redmon F. Brawner for obtaining letters of administration on the said decedents estate with the will aforesaid annexed in due form.


J. Williams CC

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday's Obituary: Harriet Ann Dixon (1896)

Washington Bee (Washington, DC)
8 August 1896

Mrs. Harriet Ann Dixon, the beloved wife of Jas. M. Dixon, departed this life, Aug. 1, in the 64th year of her age.  She was born in Prince William Co., Va., in 1832 and for more than forty years had shared the joys and sorrows of the stricken widower.  She was buried at 3 o'clock last Monday afternoon from the Bethlehem Baptist Church, of which she was a consistent member for many years.  Rev. Jos. Matthews, preached the funeral sermon from a text most appropriate to the occasion.  Sister Dixon was highly esteemed by the entire community and much beloved by her fellow communicants.  She live strong in Christian faith and died the death of the righteous.  The immense throng which gathered to witness the last sad rites over her remains testified to the place she held in the harts of her friends.  Messrs. David Simpson, Peyton Johnson, Peyton Scott and Jno. H. Anderson, were the pall-bearers.  She leaves four children to comfort their father in his great affliction.  Interment was at Moore's burying ground.  

Our sister has entered the realms of the blest,
Where her earth-wearied spirit forever may rest.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Society Saturday: Tournament and Ball (1873)

Alexandria Gazette
12 August 1873


A grand tournament and ball took place on the "Trundle Farm," near St. John's church, Prince William County, Va., about seven miles from Sudley Springs, on the 7th inst., which was numerously attended by persons from the county, Fauquier, Loudoun, and Alexandria.  Fourteen knights entered the list for the prize, which was won by Mr. J. C. Lynn, of Loudoun, who crowned Miss Virginia Ogden, of Alexandria, as Queen of Love and Beauty.  Miss Rilla Nixon, of Fauquier, was crowned 1st Maid of Honor by Mr. L. C. Lynn of Prince William County; Miss Mattie J. Smith, of Loudoun, was crowned 2nd Maid of Honor by Mr. C. C. Gheen, of Fairfax county, and Miss Ella Cockerille, of Fauquier, was crowned 3d Maid of Honor by Mr. Gilbert Elgin, of the same county.  The charge to the knights and coronation address were delivered by Mr. T. J. Leachman, of Prince William county.  The riding was very fine, the ladies most charming, the dancing exhilarating and the music delightful, and everything passed off to the entire satisfaction of all who participated.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Deed: John and Benson LYNN to Hedgman MURPHY (1802)

Prince William Co., VA Deed Book 2, pg. 30 

THIS INDENTURE made and entered into this Twenty third Day of November 1801 between JOHN LYNN & BENSON LYNN his son of the County of Prince William and State of Virginia of the one part and HEDGMAN MURPHY of the county and State aforesaid of the other part Witnesseth that the said JOHN & BENSON LYNN for and in consideration of the sum of Sixteen pounds Virginia currency to us in hand paid by said HEDGMAN MURPHY the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged and of the same do acquitt and Exonerate himself his Executors Admrs. Heirs & Assigns have bargained and sold and by these presents do bargain and sell Alien and transfer unto the said HEDGMAN MURPHY and his heirs forever all that parcel piece or part of land which was given by WILLIAM LYNN to THORNTON LYNN & BENSON LYNN sons of the aforementioned JOHN LYNN the s[ai]d JOHN LYNN having purchased the part belonging to THORNTON LYNN which land hereby bargained and sold is situate in Prince William County lying on the fork of Butlers & Blands Roads and is bounded as followeth (Vizt.) Beginning at the Conjunction of the aforesaid Roads and Run[n]ing with the former No. 55 [degrees] Wt. 25 po[les] to the line of WILLIAM RIDLEY then with his line No. 42 [degrees] Et. 22 po[les] to the line of RHEUBEN CALVERT then leaving Ridley and Running with Calvert’s line So. 49 [degrees] Et. 7 po[les] to Blands Road then leaving said Calvert’s line and Run[n]ing with said Road So. 25 poles to the Beginning containing two Acres and twelve poles together with all appurtenances of every kind and nature in any wise appertaining unto the aforesaid piece, part or parcel of land. To have and to hold the aforesaid piece, part or parcell of land and its appurtenances unto the s[ai]d HEDGMAN MURPHY and his heirs forever for the only proper use and hehoof of him the s[ai]d HEDGMAN MURPHY his heirs and assigns forever and the said JOHN LYNN and BENSON LYNN for themselves their heirs Exrs. and Admnrs. forever warrant and defend by there presents unto the said HEDGMAN MURPHY his heirs and assigns the aforesaid piece part , and parcel of land and its appurtenances against all persons claiming under them. In Testimony whereof the said JOHN LYNN & BENSON LYNN have hereunto set their hands and affixed their seals the day and year first above Written.


Signed, Sealed, Acknowledged
and delivered in presence of


At a Court held for Prince William County the 5th day of July 1802.

This deed from JOHN LYNN & BENSON LYNN to HEDGMAN MURPHY was proved by the Oath of GEO. COPIN and ordered to be Certified. And at a Court held for the s[ai]d county the 2nd day of August 1802. This said deed was acknowledged by BENSON LYNN and proved as to JOHN LYNN by WM. PEARSON & ordered to be Recorded.

Teste. John Williams Clk. Cur.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Will: Rebecca Bell (1823)

Prince William County Will Book M, pg 2
10 Aug 1822; proved 03 Mar 1823

In the name of God Amen I REBECCA BELL of the County of Prince William & State of Virginia being weak in body but of sound and perfect mind and memory blessed be Almighty God for the same do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner and form following that is to say I commit my soul to Almighty God trusting that through the redeeming grace of the Savior he will forgive my sins, I request that my body should be decently interred for defraying the expenses of which I wish two bull yearlings to be sold.  The balance of my property I give and bequeath in the following manner, Viz; to my grandson THOMAS GUY, his heirs or assigns one large brindle cow, one hog and one ewe.  To my granddaughter NANCY one bed and furniture one cow of a brindle & white color and one ewe, to my granddaughter ELIZABETH one bed and furniture and one heifer it is further my wish that if either of my grand daughters should die without issue what property I have left her shall belong to the other, it is further my wish that the following articles shall be sold, one iron pot and stew pan one tea kettle eight spoons, one washing tub and bread tray and the proceeds equally divided between the three children above named and as it was my wish that the sheep should be equally divided among the three I wish my Executor to value the two sheep and the one third of the value to be paid by THOMAS and NANCY to ELIZABETH for carrying the above will into execution.  I hereby constitute Majr. JOSEPH R. GILBERT my Executor as witness my hand and seal this tenth day of August 1822.


Signed and sealed in the presence of

At a Court of Quarterly Sessions held for Prince William County  Marcy 3rd 1823 this last will and testament of REBECCA BELL decd was presented to the court and being proved by the oaths of JAMES THOMPSON and PERCY GRIFFID is admitted to record.

At a Court of Quarterly Sessions continued & held for Prince William County March 4th 1823.  JOSEPH R. GILBERT the Executor named in the last will and testament of REBECCA BELL decd came into court and made oat to the same and took the oath of an Exor. according to law and having performed what is usual in such cases certificate is granted him for obtaining probate thereof in due form.

Teste,  P. D. DAWE

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thriller Thursday: Family Poisoned by Buttermilk

Richmond Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA)
12 July 1903


Fredericksburg, VA, July 11 -- Mrs. W. N. Tansil[l] and two daughters, Misses Lucy and Mattie Tansill, and Mrs. George E, Cole and daughter, Miss Annie Taylor Cole, had a narrow escape from death by poison from drinking buttermilk, which had been brought from the country in a tin vessel, which was exposed to the sun.  Soon after drinking the buttermilk, the ladies became violently sick, physicians were summoned and worked on them for two hours before they were finally relieved from pain.  All of them recovered.

[Anna Louisa Cole, the daughter of Horace Cole and Martha Taylor Cole, was born in Prince William County on 20 October 1850.  She married Wallace Norman Tansill, the son of Samuel Tansil and Theodocia Norman Tansill, on 6 February 1868 in Prince William County.  Many of her original letters from Fredericksburg to and from family in PWCo can be found in the Library of Virginia's Personal Papers collection (Accession #38438). ~cgl]

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Will: John Galloway (1813)

Prince William County Will Book K, pg. 203
15 March 1813; proved 5 Apr 1813

In the name of God Amen I JOHN GALLOWAY of the Town of Dumfries County of Prince William & State of Virginia do make and ordain this as my last will and testament in manner following that is to say in the first place I give and bequeath to my grand son ALEXANDER HENDERSON WATERS all my books, except Calvanism improved in the second place I give and bequeath all the residue of my estate to my dear wife EPPA GALLOWAY to her and her heirs forever.  And I do appoint my said wife Executrix of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all other wills heretofore made by me.  In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this fifteenth day of March eighteen hundred thirteen.


Signed sealed published and declared by the Testator as his last will and testament in the presence of  interlined in 6th line


At a Court held for Prince William County the 5th day of April 1813.

This last will and testament of JOHN GALLOWAY decd. was presented to the Court by and being proved by the oaths of JAMES DENEALE and PHILIP D. DAWE is ordered to be recorded.

AT a Court continued and held for said County April 7th 1818.

EPPA GALLOWAY the Executrix named in the last will and testament of JOHN GALLOWAY decd. came into Court and made oath to the same according to law, and having taken the oath of an Executrix and performed what is usual in such cases certificate is granted her for obtaining a probate thereof in due form

Teste,  PHIL. D. DAWE

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday's Obituary: Ann Elizabeth Dickerson / William R. Leachman

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
28 June 1900

A telephone message received here this morning from Brownsville, Prince William county, announced the death of Mrs. Ann Elizabeth Dickerson, sister of Colonel J. T. Leechman of that county.  Deceased was well known here, and was about ninety-four years old.  The funeral will take place tomorrow afternoon at Bristow.

Alexandria Gazette
3 December 1847

At the Castle of Perote, Mexico, on the 10th July last, of the prevailing disease of that country, Corporal Wm. R. Leachman, of Prince William County, Va. (Company F, R.M.R. late Capt. S. T. Mason) beloved and respected by all his comrades in arms, and lamented by a numerous circle of friends and relatives.  -- He was wounded at the battle of Cerro Gordo, of which he soon recovered, so as to be able to take his place: but in the  march from Jalapa to the city of Mexico, being unable to proceed farther than the castle, in consequence of sickness, was left behind with many others to join the army no more.  By this afflicting news, a heart stricken mother, and loving brothers and sisters, are made to mingle their tears and sympathies with the many households already clad in the habilaments of woe by this calamitous war.  -- When will it end?  Echo answers, when.  [The Washington Union and Balt. Sun, please copy.]