Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Newspaper Tidbit: PWCo Items

Alexandria Gazette
15 September 1873

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY ITEMS - [From the Manassas Gazette] - One of the most pleasant affairs that has ever occurred in this place came off on Tuesday night last at the Manassas Hotel, it being the occasion of a birth day party given Miss Rachie Varns, daughter of the proprietor of the hotel.  A large and fashionable gathering of invited friends were present to do honor to the occasion and the evening was spent amid enchanting music and dancing.

A tournament and ball will be given at Manassas on the 18th inst.; also, one at Centreville on the 15th inst., both under the auspices of the colored fraternity.

A sharp and spicy discussion took place on Saturday last at Trenness', between G. W. Larkin and E. E. Meredith, candidates for Commonwealth's attorney.

We regret to learn the death at his home in Lesurur, Minn, on the 7th inst., of George D. Snow, esq., eldest son of Col. Wm. R. Show of this county.

It is the first time since we have known Manassas that we have heard the hum of that annoying insect, the mosquito.

A basket pic nic will be held in a grove near A. T. Marshall's on the 20th inst.

Chills and fevers are very prevalent in and around Manassas.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Will: James Reid (1821)

Prince William County Will Book L, pg. 376
14 May 1821; proved 06 Aug 1821

In the name of God Amen I JAMES REID of the town of Dumfries and State of Virginia make my last will and testament as follows: I leave all my estate real and personal to ELIZABETH P. OWENS during her life and after her death to be equally divided among her children.  Witness my hand and seal this 14th day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty one.

JAMES REID  {seal}

last will and testament JOHN SPENCE, HECTOR ALEXANDER, J. LAWSON

At a Court of Quarterly Sessions held for Prince William County August 6th 1821.  This last will and testament of JAMES REID decd was presented to the Court and being proved by the oaths of JOHN SPENCE and HECTOR ALEXANDER two of the witnesses thereto is ordered to be recorded.

And at a Court of Quarterly Sessions cont. and held for said County August 9th 1821 Administration of the Estate of JAMES REID decd with the Will annexed is granted to PEYTON NORVELL who took the oath prescribed by law and entered into and ackd. A bond with security according to law.

Teste, PHIL. D. DAWE

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunday's Obituary: John J. Lyell

The Sun (Baltimore, MD)
30 October 1899


[Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun]

Haymarket, Va., Oct. 29 -- Mr. John J. Lyell, a resident of Prince William county, died at his beautiful home, "Sanoma," at 5:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon.  Mr. Lyell had been a sufferer from Bright's disease for many years, being practically beyond all hope of recovery for the last few months, and was finally stricken with an attack of the heart.  Mr. Lyell had been a resident of this locality only about four years, he having moved here from Richmond, Va., and bought his farm, "Sanoma," about two miles from this place, which he has since much improved and beautified.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday's Faces from the Past: Woodbine Baptist Church

As Woodbine Church prepares to celebrate its 140th Anniversary, it seemed appropriate to post a photo of its congregation from the late 1930's.  The group is standing at the front door of the original 1875 one-room church building.

Many thanks to Miss Jane Abel, a long-time member of Woodbine's congregation (she's the little gal with the bow in the picture) for sharing her photo!

Miss Jane tried her best to remember the names of everyone in the picture but there are a few she was unable to identify.  Do you recognize any of the faces in this photo?

Woodbine Baptist Church Congregation (approx 1938)
Photo courtesy of Jane Abel (used with permission)

Front Row (left to right) - Little girl, Vernon Beavers, little girl, Bill Posey, Gloria Weber, Billy Zackey, Margie Cornwell, Penny (Hattie Warren's foster child)

Middle Row - Rev. Howard Caviness, Helen Beavers, Geneva Jones and baby, Minnie Posey and Bobby, woman with baby, Jane Abel (wearing the little bow), David Abel (little boy below), Lillian Abel and Frankie, Annie Zackey, unidentified man

Back Row - Louise Beavers Cornwell and Denny, Joyce Beavers Jones and son, woman with baby, Hattie Abel Warren and Betty Lou, woman with baby.


Pastor Gene Wells and the congregation of Woodbine Church invite the Community to celebrate their 140th Anniversary on Saturday, 23 May 2015, from Noon until Three.  The event is open to the public and admission is FREE!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wednesday's Child: Harvey J. Brown


Sep. 28, 1902
Jan. 22, 1919

Manssas Journal
24 January 1919

Harry, the sixteen year old son of Mr. R. L. Brown, of Aden, died on Wednesday, the victim of influenza, followed by pneumonia.  Interment was made at Valley View cemetery this afternoon at 2 o'clock.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Will: Charles Johnson (1805)

Prince William County Will Book I, pg. 54
21 Dec 1801; proved 6 May 1805

In the name of God Amen I CHARLES JOHNSON of Prince William County in the State of Virginia being in tolerable health of body and sound memory thanks be to God for his mercies, calling to mind the uncertainty of this life and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to dye for the peace of my family after my deceas. And for the setling my worldly affairs, do make and ordaine this my last will and testament, as follows, first my desire that all my just debts and funeral expense be paid and satisfied, secondly I give to my beloved wife MARY all my estate both real and personal during her life or widowhood and after her deceas or marriage to be equally divided between my three sons, and two daughters; that is to say my sons BALEY, ROBERT, and ELIJAH, my daughters ALLY and SELAH.  I constitute make and ordain my beloved wife MARY and my son BALEY Executrix and Executor of this my last will and testament, hereby ratifying and confirmation this and no other to be my last will and testament.  In Witness whereof I have set my hand and seal this twenty first day of December One thousand eight hundred and one.

CHARLES [his mark] JOHNSON  {seal}

Signed sealed and declared by CHARLES JOHNSON not be his last Will & Testament in the presence of us who subscribed our names in his presence


At a Court held for Prince William County April 1805.

This last will and testament of CHARLES JOHNSON decd. was presented to the court and being proved by the oath of MOSES MOSS was ordered to be certified.

At a Court held for sd. County May 6th 1805.

This said Will of CH. JOHNSON decd. was presented to the Court and being fully proved by the Oath of JOHN REDMAN was ordered to be recorded.



Sunday, May 17, 2015

Church Record Sunday: Easter Program (1920)

Manassas Journal
2 April 1920


An interesting program was rendered Sunday evening at Woodbine Church by the young folk of the community.  An Easter program is being prepared for next Sunday evening, with Mrs. J. M. Russell as leader.

Last Sunday's program included a song, Scripture reading, invocation, a solo, Jesus Loves Me, by Mr. Odie Breeden; a recitation, Four Leaf Clover, by Annie Golihew; a reading, The Leak in the Dyke, by Miss Pauline Smith; a solo by Mr. W. A. Breeden; a recitation, The Old Homestead, by Miss Maud Norman; a reading, Somebody's Mother, by Miss Annie Cornwell; a duet, a reading, Little Golden Hair, by Miss Pearl Russell; a reading, A Psalm of Life, by Miss Bessie Cornwell, a duet, a reading, We Parted in Silence, by Miss Goldie Golihew; a song, a reading, by Miss Myrtle Cornwell, a reading, The Volunteer, by Miss Ruth Wheaton; a song, a recitation, The Widower, by Miss Maud Norman; a solo, a recitation by Miss Annie Golihew and a recitation by Mrs. Hill.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Newspaper Tidbits: Crime and Punishment

Alexandria Gazette (Virginia)
10 October 1810

Prince William County, to wit.

ALEXANDER HENDERSON, one of the Commonwealth's Justices of the Peace of the said County, to all Sheriffs, Mayors, Baliffs, Constables and Headboroughs, within the Commonwealth of Virginia.

WHEREAS complaint is made to me this day, upon the oath of Samuel Davis, that James Cornwell, laborer, who was lately committed to the jail of the said county of Prince William, by warrant from Henry Washington, a Justice of the Peace for the said county, on suspicion of felony, did on the night of the twenty-sixth instant forcibly escape from the said jail, and is now going at large: These are therefore, in the name of the Commonwealth, to require you and every of you, in your respective counties, cities, towns and precincts, to make diligent search, by way of hue and cry for the said James Cornwell, and having found, to seize and retake, and safely convey, or cause him to be safely conveyed, to the jail of the said county of Prince William, there to be kept until he shall be thence discharged by due course of law.

Given under my hand and seal this twenty eight day of September, 1810.

A. Henderson (Seal)
Dumfries, Sept. 30-Oct. 3. d2w

~ ~ ~

Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)
9 February 1905


Twenty-five Lashes Laid on by the Sheriff for Stealing.

Manassas, Va. Feb. 8 -- In the Circuit Court of Prince William county Judge C. E. Nicol presiding, Harrison Brammel and G. Robert Hales, two white boys, aged twelve and thirteen years, respectively, were to-day ordered to be given twenty-five lashes for committing larceny.  The parents of the boys who reside near Occoquan, were willing that they should be whipped, the boys having entered a plea of guilty to the indictments agains them.

The boys were carried from the courthouse to the county jail, where Sheriff F. C. Rovabaugh executed the order of the court.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Those Places Thursday: Snow Hill

Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, DC)
8 December 1823


Recent domestic occurrences will induce me to sell this highly valuable and beautiful estate, situated in the upper part of Prince William County, Virginia, near the line of Loudon County, and three miles from the Bull Run Mountains, 30 miles from Washington City and Alexandria, over a good turnpike, containing 879 acres of fine corn land, producing a spontaneous growth of poplar and locust, is divided into five fields of 120 to 140 acres each, has 200 bushels of fine wheat well put in (on a field that produced 2300 bushels four years ago), 50 bushels of rye, 70 acres in clover, 40 acres in a state of preparation for oats in the Spring and 30 acres for tobacco, of a soil well adapted, from an experiment of this year, to the growth of high priced tobacco.  Any portion of the crop of corn of 500 or 600 barrels, may be had with it if required -- about 200 acres in wood and rail timber.  The improvements consist of a two story dwelling house, in good order, with four rooms and a spacious passage on each floor, with two Grecian porches, finished in a very superior style, and stone kitchen and cook house, and all other houses necessary on such an estate, a good garden and an orchard of choice fruit.  A small portion only of the purchase money will be required in hand, and the balance in four instalments, in such portions as shall be stipulated.  For health, beauty of situation, and agreeable society, it stand sunrivalled in any part of the country.  A good bargain will be given if an early arrangement can be made.

William Hebb,
near Hay Market, Virginia

nov 20-eo1m

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wednesday's Child: Philip Bell

Manassas Journal
12 October 1906

In Memorium

Died, near Waterfall on Saturday, Oct. 6, little Philip, infant son of Edith and Howard Bell, aged three months and twenty-one days.  The funeral was at Antioch on Sunday afternoon and with saddened hearts we left the little mound covered with lovely flowers in the sweet October sunshine.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Newspaper Tidbid: Deeds of Transfer (1916)

Manassas Journal
12 May 1916


List of Realty Transfers Admitted to Prince William County Record

May 4 - From Robt. B. Graham et al to A. C. Fletcher et ux - 2 tracts of land and buildings thereon - consideration $600.  From Quantico Co., Inc. to H. B. Hutchison - lots - consideration $7,000.  From Quantico Co. inc. to H. B. Hutchison - lots and 5,000 sq. ft. ground.

May 5 - From D. E. Copp to Berry Butler - lot at Industrial School addition.

May 6 - From Wm. Spitler to I. T. Cutler et ux - 73 acres - consideration $3,000.  From W. R. Milstead et ux to Mrs. Carrie Bland - 4 1/2 acres - consideration $450.

May 8 - From Alvin T. Embrey to Garlie S. Rosson - tract near Cherry Hill - consideration $950.

May 9 - From Quantico Co. Inc. to Robert Detwiler - lot - consideration $255.

May 10 - From Henrietta and Daniel Nash to Gracie Bates - 10.21 acres - consideration $100.  From J. Stewart White, trustee, et al to J. M. Hooe - about 196 acres - consideration $6,700.  From J. Stewart White, trustee, to W. R. Hooker - 138 1/2 acres - consideration $3,650.

May 11 - From L. A. Williams et ux to W. R. Milstead - 6 acres - consideration $325.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Will: Moses Davis (1811)

Prince William County Will Book K, pg 76
03 Jan 1807; proved 04 Feb 1811

In the name of God Amen this 3rd day of January 1807 I MOSES DAVIS of the County of Prince William & State of Virginia being in sound & perfect mind & memory thanks be given to god and calling into mind the mortality of my body & knowing that it is apointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last will & testament and first I recommend my soul into the hands of god that gave it me hopeing that through the merits of the Lord Jesus it may find acceptance with god, and my worldly estate I give devise & dispose of the same in the following manner and form.  Viz. Item I give and bequeath unto JAMES DAVIS the son of brother WILLIAM DAVIS one mare, mares saddle & bridle to be delivered unto him when he shall arrive to the age of 21 years old.  Item I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife SIBBEY DAVIS all the remaining part of my estate together with the lease of land I now live on to hold enjoy & possess the same and to dispose of the same in any manner as she may think  most proper the part of my estate remaining consisting of all my slaves kitchen & household furniture, stock & plantation utensils and I do appoint my wife SIBLEY DAVIS my executrix of this my last will utterly revoking and disalowing all & every other wills and executrix’s & executors by me in any manner will’d or named & every other legacies by me before this time bequeathed ratifying this will and this only to be my last will and testament.  In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 3rd day of January 1807.  The within will of MOSES DAVIS is brought forward on this 2nd page and signed sealed and acknowledged by the testator as his last will and testament.


In the presence of

At a Court held for Prince William County  February 4th 1811

This last will and testament of MOSES DAVIS decd. was presented to the Court and being proved by the oaths of JOHN THORN and JOHN COCKRELL was ordered to be recorded and SIBBY DAVIS the Executrix therein named having made oath to the same according to law and take the oath of an executrix and given security according to law certificate is granted her for obtaining a probate thereof in due form.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Event: Woodbine Church Celebrates 140 Years! (Saturday, 23 May 2015)

In May 25, 1875, Levi C. Lynn and his wife Edna donated an acre of land "...for the use and benefit of the Baptist Church (commonly called the “New School”)...for the said church known as the “Woodbine” Baptist Church..."

140 years later, the small, one-room clapboard building still stands within sight of the newer, more modern church sanctuary built in the 1950's to accommodate a growing congregation.

Pastor Gene Wells and the congregation of Woodbine Church invite the Community to celebrate their 140th Anniversary on Saturday, 23 May 2015, from Noon until Three.  The event is open to the public and admission is FREE!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday's Faces from the Past: Officers of County Club Council, 1933

Manassas Journal
9 February 1933


Officers for the year were elected at the meeting of the club council  held on January 28.  Plans were outlined by the group for county-wide club activities.  The council is working to have all clubs in the standard list by the end of the club year.

Front row, left to right - Wilda Bourne, Occoquan R-H Club, vice-president; Leslie Bourne, Occoquan, cheer leader; Mildred Roseberry, Manassas 4-H Club, vice-president; Hilda Lion, Manassas 4-H Club, secretary.

Back row - Elizabeth Allen, Nokesville 4-H Club, song leader; Mildred Wood, Nokesville 4-H Club, reporter; Joyce Garman, Nokesville 4-H Club, president of County 4-H Club Council

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Howdershell-Bell

Richmond Dispatch (Richmond, VA)
21 December 1902


Waterfall, VA, December 20, 1902 -- A very pretty wedding was solemnized Wednesday evening at Antioch Baptist church, at this place, the contracting parties being Miss Edith Howdershell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Howdershell, and Mr. Howard Stanley Bell, all of Prince William county.  At about 5:30 o'clock, to the strains of the Mendelsshon march, the bridal party entered the church from the vestibule, and the bride, with the maid of honor, Miss Clara Bell, sister of the groom, proceeded up the left aisle, while the groom, with the best man, Mr. William M. Jordan, proceeded up the right aisle, to the altar, where they were made one by the Rev. C. W. Trainham of Manassas.

The ushers were Mr. Randolph Smith, Mr. Charles Keyser, Mr. Herman Shirley, and Mr. Frank Pickett.

After the ceremony the happy couple was driven to Haymarket, where they took the train for a tour to points north.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Will: George Williams (1827)

Prince William County Will Book  M, pg 494
04 Oct 1825; proved 07 May 1827

In the name of God Amen I GEORGE WILLIAMS of the Town of Dumfries County of Prince William & State of Virginia knowing it is appointed for all men to die I do ordain this my last will and testament.  My desire is that my Executor hereafter mentioned do sell any part of my Estate that he may think most advantageous to the estate to pay all my just debts which I hop will be found few in number. 2nd. That he pays out of my estate forty eight dollars annually to my sister JANE during her life.  3rd I give to my wife CATHARINE all the balances of my estate real & personal during her life and after her death for my lands to be divided in the following manner to my son JOHN three hundred and fifty acres adjoining the land of Maj. Luke Cannon.  4th Balances which I suppose to be one hundred & fifty acres I give to my grand son JESSE WILLIAMS, his father WILLIAM C. WILLIAMS to have the use of the same during his life but not to be allowed to commit, waste & timber to the injury of my grandson while under age.  5th I give to my two daughters FLORES & LOUISA my house & lott in the town of Dumfries as I suppose it sufficiently large for both jointly or divided into two aportionentz.  6th I give to my grand son JAMES A. M. MUSCHETT one negro boy named Philip and to my grandson JESSE WILLIAIMS one negro boy named Nat & one negro girl named Delia. 7th I give to my JOHN one negro man named John a carpenter by trade.  8th The balance of my slaves to be equally divided between my four children my son WILLIAM only to have the use of the one fourth part that may fall to his lott during his life afterwards to be divided between his children.  9th and lastly appoint my son John W. Williams my Executor no inventory or appraisement of my estate to be taken nor any security to be required of him as my Executor as witness my hand this fourth day of October 1825.


At a Court held for Prince William County the 7th day of May 1827.  This last will and testament of George Williams deceased was presented to the Court and it appearing to the Court from their inspection and evidence of their witnesses that the same will is in the hand writing of the said George Williams said will is admitted to record.  And at a Court of Quarterly Sessions, continued and held for Prince William County Jun 6th 1827. John W. Williams the Executor named in the last will and testament of Geo. Williams decd. came into Court and made oath to the same according to law and having taken the oath of an Executor and entered into bond Certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate thereof in due form the Court dispensing with security according to the desire of the Testator it appearing that he had more visible property than would discharge his debts.

Teste, Philip D. Dawe

Friday, May 1, 2015

May Events: What's Happening at RELIC

The Ruth E. Lloyd Information Center (RELIC) will be hosting two programs in the month of May that may be of interest to PWCo genealogists and historians.  Reservations are suggested.

May 19, 2015, 7:00 p.m.

Mapping Virginia will be presented by Charlie Grymes, Geography of Virginia Instructor at George Mason University.

May 21, 2015, 11:00 a.m.

Historian/author/former National Park Ranger Don Johnson will discuss his recent book, "Thirteen Months at Manassas/Bull Run:  The Two Battles and the Confederate and Union Occupations.