Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Lucinda Thomas

Manassas Journal
7 February 1935

Lucinda Thomas, an aged and highly respected colored woman, died suddenly Saturday evening, Feb. 2, at her home near Waterfall.

Aunt Sindy, as she was generally called, was born eighty-nine years ago, a slave, in the family of Cassius Foley of Waterfall. She was one of those rare types seldom seen, a genuine product of the Old South, loyal to her white folks all through the years whom she respected and loved devotedly. She was a widow for many years, and most of her large family had passed away, yet time dealt kindly with her, retaining all of her faculties until the end. It was indeed a treat to visit her neat little cottage for a chat with "Aunt Sindy" and one came away seeming in some way glorified. We grieve that she is no more.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Deed: Leachman to Johnson (1908)

Deed:  Leachman to Johnson
Prince William County Deed Book 57, page 270

THIS DEED made this 15th day of May, 1908, between Elizabeth A. Leachman, of the first part and Sarah E. Johnson, and Anna M. Johnson, parties of the second part, WITNESSETH: That in consideration of One dollar and of care and attention bestowed upon the parties of the first part by the parties of the second part, and in further consideration of love and affection of the party of the first part toward the parties of the second part, the said party of the first part, Elizabeth A. Leachman doth hereby grant and convey unto the said parties of the second part Sarah E. Johnson and Anna M. Johnson, with General Warranty, all that lot of land in the Corporation of Manassas, bounded on the west by Main Street, on the North by Church Street (formerly called North Street, on east by East Street and on the south by the land of C. L. Hynson, being about 105 feet on Main Street, 210 feet on Church Street and 105 feet on East Street, being about one half acre and being the land conveyed to Robert C. Leachman by deed from Cannon and wife, recorded in Liber 26 of Deeds on page 516, and by said Robert C. Leachman conveyed by last will and Testament to his wife, Elizabeth A. Leachman, the party of the first part, less a lot 24 feet by 24 feet on Church Street conveyed by deed recorded in Liber 28, page 480. To have and to hold unto the said parties of the second part, their heirs and assigns forever.

The said Elizabeth A. Leachman covenants that she has the right to make this conveyance; that there are no encumbrances thereon; that she will warrant and defend the title thereto and execute such further assurances of the same as shall be requisite.

Witness my signature and seal,

Elizabeth A. Leachman {seal}

State of Virginia,County of Prince William,

I, George C. Round, a Notary public in and for the said county in the State of Virginia, do certify that Elizabeth A. Leachman, whose name is signed to the above writing bearing the date of May 15, 1908, has acknowledged the same before me in my county aforesaid. My commission expires April 30, 1910. Given under my hand the 15th day of May, 1908.

Geo. C. Round, Notary Public, Pr. Wm. Co., Va.

In Clerk's Office Circuit Court of Prince William County, May 19, 1908.

This DEED from Leachman to Johnson, was received with certificate annexed and admitted to record.

E. Nelson, Clerk

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Alexander H. Compton

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
4 July 1916

Alexander H. Compton Dead

Alexander H. Compton, seventy-seven years old, died yesterday at his home at Wellington, Prince William county.  He was engaged in farming.  Besides his wife he leaves a sister, Miss Mamie E. Compton.  His funeral will take place at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon from Sudley M. E. Church, Wellington.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Amanuensis Monday: Deed of Trust: Lloyde to Nelson

Prince William County 
Deed of Trust:  Lloyd to Nelson
Deed Book 52, pt. 224

This Deed, made this 21st day of December in the year 1903, between B. M. Lloyde of the first part, and John H. Nelson trustee of the second part, witnesseth, that the said party of the first part doth grant unto the said party of the second part the following property, to wit; one bay gelding colt two years old, named "June" raised by the said Lloyde, also one bay mare named "May" about 8 years old, now a possession of said Lloyde at David Arringtons farm in said county and state, also one buggy and one set of buggy harness complete, the colt being now at David Young's farm on Buckhall road, near Manassas in Prince William county, Virginia, and said buggy and harness now at David Arringtons farm in said county and state, and said party of first part agrees to feed and care for said colt, and take good care of the residue of said property hereby conveyed.

In trust to secure to R. W. Merchant the payment of the sum of forth three 16/100 dollars with interest from date hereof, evidenced by note of said B. M. Lloyde, payable to said R. W. Merchant, at six months, bearing even date herewith, for said amt with interest as aforesaid. In the event that default shall be made in the payment of the above mentioned note when it becomes due and payable, then the said trustee, on being required so to do by said Merchant or his executors, administrators, or assigns, shall sell the property hereby conveyed for cash.

Witness the following signature and seal.

B. M. Lloyde (seal)

In Clerks Office Prince William County Court Dec. 21, 1903

This deed of trust from Lloyde to Nelson trustee was received in office acknolwedged by the grantor and admitted to record.

E. Nelson   Clk

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Notley L. Ball

Frederick News Post
21 May 1942

Purcellville, Va., May 20 -- Notley Lee Ball, 83, banker and retired stock dealer, died at his home here Monday following an illness of three weeks.  Mr. Ball was born in Prince William County and came to Loudoun when he was 8 years old.

Mr. Ball was first vice president of the Purcellville National Bank, and a member of the board of directors. He was a member of St. Frances De Sales Catholic Church. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Gertrude MacDaniel Ball; a son, Harvey M. Ball of Purcellville, and a daughter, Mrs. Lucille Ball Welsh, of Purcellville, eight grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Funeral services were held at 10 o'clock Wednesday.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Society Saturday: Prince William Items: Rhoda Fewell

Alexandria Gazette
15 July 1876

On Sunday morning last Rhoda Fewell was arrested at Manassas by officer Wallace Hixson on the charge of assaulting his wife on the night previous. He was tried before Justices Whiting and L. B. Butler, who sent him to jail for 12 months and in addition imposed on him a fine of $50. He was taken to Brentsville on Sunday evening. On Tuesday, his counsel, C. E. Nicol, esq., obtained a writ of habeas corpus from the Judge of the County Court, which was heard at 4 p.m. on that day. The Judge, after hearing the arguments of counsel, released the prisoner on the ground that the Justices had no right to try a case on Sunday.  The Commonwealth was represented by the Commonwealth's Attorney, E. E. Meredith, es., assisted by Judge Sinclair. The Commonwealth's Attorney as soon as the prisoner was discharged had him rearrested for the same offence and brought before Justice A. W. Sinclair, who sent him on to the grand jury and put his bail at $500. Fewell was unable to give the bail and consequently was committed to jail. He is also under arrest upon a peace warrent sued out by Mrs. Fewell.

[Lucien "Rhoda" Fewell is probably best known for the infamous 1872 murder of James Clark at the Brentsville jail.  A Civil War veteran, some have theorized that Fewell's "anger management" issues were symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ("PTSD"). ~cgl]

Friday, October 20, 2017

Friend of Friends Friday: Ranaway: Benjamin H. Parker

American and Daily Advertiser (Baltimore, MD)
4 February 1842

WAS COMMITTED to the Jail of Baltimore City and County, on the 3d of January 1842, by Jas. Blair, Esq., a Justice of the Peace in and for the City of Baltimore, as a runaway, a negro boy who calls himself BENJAMIN H. PARKER. He says that he belongs to Wm. Simpson of Parkersburg, Va., and that he ranaway from John Fitzhugh, who resides near Brentsville, Prince William County, Va., to whom he was hired. He is 5 feet 3 1/2 inches high, 20 years of age, round pleasant feature. Had on when committed a black cloth coat, dark over coat, grey woolsey pantaloons, black stuff vest, black fur hat, and coarse shoes.

The owner, if any, of the above described negro is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges and take him away, otherwise he will be discharged according to law.

James Disney, Warden of Balto, City and County Jail

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Those Places Thursday: Maple Spring Farm

Alexandria Gazette
1 July 1852

A DESIRABLE FARM FOR SALE. - Under authority of the last will and testament of the late Wm. B. Tyler, dec'd., I offer for sale that valuable FARM, called MAPLE SPRING, situated on bull Run, in the County of Prince William, one and a half miles from the Gainesborough Depot, and the Manassas Gap Railroad, in a neighborhood of the best society in Virginia, containing about 400 ACRES, of which about 300 is open land, the balance in fine timber. Of the open land 50 acres are in wheat, seeded in clover, and about 40 in timothy meadow, and the balance in clover and timothy of several years standing.

The improvements are a comfortable DWELLING with five rooms, closets, and excellent cellar; kitchen with rooms for servants, with a well of delightful water at the door. Barn for large crops of hay, having stalls for thirty cows, granary, stable, &c. -- Orchard, in which are some of the finest winter apples in this section.

This FARM was occupied by Mr. Samuel Look, Groveton Post Office, Va., who will give information respecting its value for agricultural and dairy purposes. Persons desirous of purchasing land are invited to visit and examine this FARM for themselves. Dr. J. B. Grayson, living adjoining, will show it, and can give all further information. Possession immediate, and a portion of the money being paid, the terms for the balance can be made easy.

M. E. TYLER Executrix of Wm. B. Tyler, dec'd

Prince Wm., co., Va., ap10-eotf

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wedding Wednesday: Joy/Fogg

States (Washington, DC)
16 August 1859

January and May

A wedding came off at Brown's Hotel about 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon, in which the disparity of the ages of the happy pair occasioned some remark.  The parties were Miss Carrie E. Joy, late of Vermont, aged 18, and Mr. Carter B. Fogg, of Prince William County, aged about 60.  The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Dabney Ball, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in the presence of a large and attentive company.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Travel Tuesday: Public Notice: Orange & Alexandria Railroad

Alexandria Gazette
2 January 1851

PUBLIC NOTICE -- Notice is hereby given, that under authority of the law contained in the Code of Virginia (title 17, chap. 56, sec. 17), an application will be made by the Orange and Alexandria Railroad Company, to the County Court of Prince William County, Virginia, on the 6th day of January 1851, that being the 1st day of the Court for that month, for the appointment of five freeholders, any three of whom to constitute a board, to ascertain a just compensation to the owners of land upon the line of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, within the said County of Prince William, proposed to be taken by said Company for its purposes.

GEO. H. SMOOT, President

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Ernest E. Hale

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
17 March 1947


Manassas, Va., Mar. 17 -- Funeral services for Ernest E. Hale, 54, Prince William County dairyman, who died Friday night at his home at Nokesville after a short illness, were held this afternoon at the Valley Church, Nokesville, with burial in the church cemetery.

Mr. Hale was the son of the late W. F. Hale and Mrs. Fannie Hale, and had lived in Prince William for 50 years.

Besides his wife, the former Miss Clara Herring, he leaves his mother, two sons, Warren and Ernest, Jr., two brother, Dan Hale of Washington and J. F. Hale, Nokesville, and a sister, Mrs. Kline, Akron, Ohio.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Travel Tuesday: Robbery on O., A. & M. R. R.

Alexandria Gazette (VA)
9 December 1867

ROBBERY ON O., A. & M. R. R. - On Saturday evening last, a lady traveller on the Orange, Alexandria and Manassas Railroad passenger train, from Lynchburg, was robbed, previous to the arrival of the cars at Manassas Station, by a man named James A. Keys, of Prince William county, Va., who stole her pocket-book from her muff, which she left on her seat while she went to draw a glass of water. The conductor, Mr. Benjamin Pauli, being informed that the theft had been committed, commenced at once to search the passengers, and soon found the missing book in the boot leg of Keys. When the train reached Manassas, Sheriff Gooding, who happened to be there, was informed of the occurrence, and, with the assistance of Charles M. Whittington and Rhody Fewell - as Keys resisted and showed fight - effected his arrest, and carried him before Justice Butler, by whom he was committed to the jail at Brentsville.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Alice (Atkinson) Bacon

Baltimore Sun
16 July 1903

Mrs. Alice Bacon
[Special to The American]

Alexandria, Va., July 15 -- News of the death of Mrs. Alice Bacon, a former resident, which occurred yesterday afternoon in Prince William county, reached here today. She died suddenly of heart disease. Mrs. Bacon was a sister of Capt. Richard H. Atkinson, of this city, and was 50 years of age. She was the widow of William H. Bacon, a prominent Confederate veteran.

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
22 July 1903

By the Will of the late Mary Alice Bacon, which was admitted to probate in corporation court yesterday, the deceased leaves her entire estate to her mother, Mary H. Atkinson, who qualified as administratrix, with the Will annexed. 

[Mary Alice Atkinson Bacon and her husband, Pvt. William H. Bacon, are buried in Washington Street United Methodist Church cemetery in Alexandria, VA. ~cgl]

Monday, September 11, 2017

Amanuensis Monday: Bond: J. L. Keys and B. W. Storke

Prince William County
Deed Book 52, page 206
7 December 1903

Know all men by these presents that we J.L. Keys and B.W. Storke are held and firmly bound unto the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the just and full sum of five hundred dollars to the payment whereof well and truly to be made we bind ourselves our heirs, executors and administrators jointly and severally, firmly by these presents and as to this bond we hereby severally waive our homestead exemptions as to any right, claim or privilege to discharge any liability arising thereunder to the Commonwealth, or by virtue of the office or trust which said bond is given with coupons detached from bonds of this state. The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas the above bound J.L. Keys was on the third day of November 1903, by the duly qualified voters of Prince William county, elected Supervisor of Prince William County for the term commencing on the first day of January 1904. Now if the said J.L. Keys shall faithfully discharge the duties of his said office or trust then this obligation to be void, else to remain in full force and effect.

J. L. Keys {seal}
B. W. Storke {seal}

In Prince William County Court, Dec. 7, 1903.

This bond from Keys to the Com. of Va. was presented to the court acknowledged by the obligors and ordered to be recorded.

Teste; E Wilson Clk

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Gordon Wilbur Storke

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
26 December 1951

STORKE, GORDON WILBUR. On Tuesday, December 25, 1951, at his residence, 4007 37th st. Mount Rainier, Md., GORDON WILBUR STORKE, beloved husband of Mary Fletcher Storke, father of Mrs. Helen A. Allison, Melvin Gordon and Edward Worth Storke, all of Washington, D.C.; stepfather of Mrs. Kathryn Schemanski of Oakland, N.J.; James W. Pizzarelle of Decatur, Ill., and Harry M. Pizzarelle, Mount Rainier, Md.; brother of Arthur C. Storke of Washington, D.C.; Worth H. Storke of Manassas, Va.  Services at the S. H. Hines Co. Funeral Home, 2001 14th st. n.w., on Friday, December 28, at 10 a.m.  Interment Woodbine Cemetery, Prince William County, Va.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Amanuensis Monday: Agreement between Milstead and Ives

PWCo Deed Book 23, page 302
Agreement: Milstead and Ives
2 February 1856

Whereas a difficulty having arisen in relation to the boundary lines between the respective lands of Isaac Milstead and Reubin Ives in the County of Pr. William & state of Virginia and the said Milstead and Ives being desirous to settle and adjust the same want this present writing witnesseth that for divers good causes for and in consideration of the object intent & purposes herein before mentioned, the said Milstead and Ives have mutually agreed to and with each other after having had their respective lines surveyed to fix and establish forever the following boundary lines between their lands aforesaid.  

Beginning at a small white oak on the west side of a road thence N 35°  11 poles to some stone sin a large hollow stump & several distant marked pointers thence N 13° 50 uc 73 ½ poles to an old marked Spanish oak now dead on the east side of said road  corner to said Milsteads thence N 1.47 & 66 ½ poles to a white oak marked on the west side of said raid a corner to said Milsteads and Ives and the land of Mer. John Finch and it is further covenanted, stipulated & agreed between the said Milstead and Ives that hereafter should either of them or their heirs or any person or persons acting through or by their consent, will and liberty of the said Milstead or Ives, in disregard of the agreement and contrary to the intents & purposes herein before mentioned, commit any manner of trespass upon the land beyond the line or lines above described & established by claiming title to and taking possession thereof or enter suit in law to recover the same, the party upon whose tract such trespass shall have been made or suit entered as aforesaid shall forfit and pay to the advised party or his heirs the sum of one hundred dollars.  Witness whereof the said parties have hereunto interchangeable set their hands & affixed their seals this the first day of August in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred & fifty three.

Reuben Ives {seal}
Isaac Milstead {seal}

In the clerk’s office of Prince William County February 2d [1856]

This Agreement Milstead & Ives was acknowledged by the parties thereto and admitted to record.

Teste, P. D. Lipscomb, clk  

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Annie (Williams) Lipscomb

Alexandria Gazette
10 April 1857

At her residence in Brentsville, after a brief but severe illness, on Sunday, the 5th of April, Mrs. ANNIE LIPSCOMB. It is painful to record the death of an esteemed friend, but when that friend filled the station of a devoted mother, and a useful member of, and example to society, sad indeed, is the duty and heart rendering to think of the anguish of those from whom such a blessing has been removed. It is useless in our society to speak of the superior worth of our departed friend; her body has returned to its kindred earth, and her spirit to the God who gave it--yet she will long live in the memory of the many who loved her, and the recollection of her virtues be cherished by the friend who offers this small tribute to her memory.

[Per PWCo death records, Ann Lipscomb was the daughter of John and Jane Williams.  She died at age 57 on 3 April 1857 of pneumonia. ~cgl]

Monday, August 14, 2017

Newspaper Tidbit: First Complete County History in Manassas by W.P.A.

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
25 March 1941


Scattered Data Took Two Years to Assemble

Compiled as a Virginia Writers' Project of the Work Projects Administration, a book claimed to be the first complete history of Prince William County (Va.) was published today, under the sponsorship of the Bethlehem Good Housekeeping Club of Manassas.

Edited by Mrs. Eudora Ramsey Richardson, supervisor of Virginia Writers' Projects, the book is called "Prince William, the Story of Its People and Its Places."  It gives a detailed account of the county's history and it is expected to prove valuable as a source of reference.

Research workers delved into old records, archives and rare documents to produce the book, which contains such things as a complete list of more than 700 taxpayers in the county for the year 1783, and the roster of about 600 Prince William troops in the Confederate Army.

The object of the project is to make available in one volume the valuable scattered data on the formation and development of this county. Over 2,000 names connected with the past and present history of Prince William are mentioned in the book.

The county was formed from King George and Stafford Counties in 1731, the book states. The name was given in honor of a 10-year-old son of King George II, then monarch of England.

The narrative discloses that Prince William citizens repeatedly figured in the conflicts that marked the early history of the country. Troops from the county participated in the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Gen. Braddock's army passed through the section en route to his final encounter. In Prince William the first company of minutemen in Virginia was formed. Later the county "was proud to give to the Continental Army one of its most brilliant officers -- Gen. Henry (Light Horse Harry) Lee," father of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The book recounts the well known history of the area around Manassas, county seat of Prince William, during the War Between the States.

It notes that in the 20th century the county still includes the important Marine base and training camp at Quantico.

The newly compiled history and guide book of Prince William offers information on leading educational institutes throughout the county and lists suggested tours, including trips to remote corners and back-country sections.t

Mrs. Richardson says she had a staff of eight persons at work two years to complete the book.

H. R. Eubank and Frank A. Browning, supervisors of the project, directed the research, while John S. Widdicombe, assistant State supervisor, plotted the tours and wrote all architectural descriptions. The story of education was compiled by Margaret Meagher and Everett Anderson, and tradition collected from tombstones and records by Mrs. Susan R. Morton of Haymarket, Va.

Mrs. Richardson served on the State Board of Public Welfare for 10 years prior to 1938. She is a former national field representative of the Federation of Business and Professional Women and organizing president of the Virginia branch of the American Association of University Women.

["Prince William, the Story of Its People and Its Places" remains one of the best research books on the county.  Research copies can be found at RELIC and other Virginia libraries.  ~cgl]

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: James Peake

The Columbia Star (Columbia, SC)
14 January 1825

At his residence, in Prince William county, Virginia, on Tuesday morning, the 13th ult., Mr. James Peake, aged 89 years, 5 months, and 11 day. "The righteous have hope in his death." This declaration has been abundantly verified, in that becoming submission manifested during the tedious and protracted affliction and death of this truly amiable and good man. He had been a regular member of the Baptist church at Occoquan upwards of 50 years. He was one amongst the members who first composed the constitution of said church.  It is pleasant to reflect that he has, at all times, and under all circumstances, proved an ornament to the precious cause of Christ. He was a man of fine natural abilities; and, being adorned with the graces of the Spirit, together with an anxiety for the advancement of the Redeemer's kingdom, he made a conspicuous appearance; and was eminently useful in the church of which he was a member. "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man ins peace."

[More about James Peake and the Occoquan Baptist Church can be found Here in RELIC's online digital collection. ~cgl]

Friday, August 11, 2017

Crime & Punishment: Brentsville Jail Break: John Wordier

Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, Va)
4 December 1855

BROKE JAIL -- John Wordier, who had been committed to the jail of Prince William County, Va., by the warrant of a Justice of the peace, on a charge of horse stealing, broke jail on Saturday, the 1st instant, at Brentsville.  His flight was not discovered till after dark. The jailor took the night train of cars on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, at Bristoe station, and went up the line to Colvin's where he got off and remained, until the train returned to that place, where he resumed his pursuit by taking the cars to Alexandria, thinking it probable that his late prisoner might come on the train at some intervening station.  When the cars reached Union Mills, they were stopped to take on a supply of wood, and the fugitive came into the cars where the jailor was, and on seeing that he was recognized, tried to escape by leaving the cars in haste, but the jailor pursued and arrested him on the platform, took him into the cars and brought him to this city, intending to return with him on the morning train to Prince William, and place him again in jail.  After arriving in Alexandria, the jailor took his prisoner to S. Catt's tavern, at West End, where he intended to stay until the cars were ready to leave in the morning, and about 5 1/2 o'clock, A.M., the captive again escaped, and could not be found.  The jailor gave notice to the police that the thief was at large in the vicinity of this city.

The Daily Express (Petersburg, Va)
6 December 1855

John Wordier, a horse thief made his escape from the jail of Prince William county on the 1st inst. He was subsequently arrested in the cars by the jailor and taken to Alexandria, but managed to get away again and is now at large.

[John Wordier was eventually caught.  In March 1856 he was again sentenced to jail for "grand larceny and lunacy."  Interesting that the jailor is never named in either newspaper report (which was very likely a relief to him!) ~cgl]

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wedding Wednesday: Abel/Leary

Evening Star (Washington, DC)
28 May 1889

MARRIAGE LICENSES -- Marriage licenses have been issued by the clerk of the court to

Wm. J. Kenney and Mary E. Hager;
W. H. Spriggs and Roberta Bryan;
George Dean and Johanna Taylor;
John Murray and Rebecca Thomas;
W. H. Johnson and Mary L. Moreland;
C. W. Richardson and Amy E. Small;
Moses F. Smallwood and Alice Pinkwood;
Chas. Watts, of Charles county, Md., and Anna Ross;
Chas. Duvall Decker and Effie Miranda Bennett;
Wallace W. Abel, of Prince William county, Va., and Edith G. Leary of Fredericksburg, Va.; 
Charles Bell and Fannie Carlton;
Charles A. Lasalle of Chicago, Ill., and Lizzie B. Litchfield;
Henry B. Chapman and Mary Alice Jones.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Mary M. (Harrison) Jordan

Alexandria Gazette
4 March 1861

On the 12th of February, at "Fairmount Mills," near Culpeper Court House, the residence of her son-in-law, MR. Wm. C. Nalls, Mrs. MARY M. JORDAN, in the 76th year of her age. Mrs. Jordan was the twin sister of Mr. B. E. Harrison, and was born in Prince William County, where she resided until 1848, when she removed to her son's, in Fauquier county, and from thence to "Fairmount Mills," to be with, and taken care of by, her daughter, Mrs. Nalls.  She was, and has been for man years, a member of the Baptist Church, and though in her last illness she was racked by pain, she retained a rational mind to the last, and expressed her full confidence in the faith and assurance of her profession.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Newspaper Tidbit: PWCo Items

Alexandria Gazette
19 October 1874

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY ITEMS -- [From the Manassas Gazette]

The Circuit Court met on Monday, Judge James Keith presiding, Geo. W. Larkin esq., Commonwealth attorney. When the grand jury had been sworn Judge Keith charged them as follows. That they should "bring to notice all breaches of the peace," on which the good order of society depended; "all murders, assaults and batteries, burglaries, and violations of the internal revenue laws." On motion of James M. Love esq., M. H. Wells esq. of Fairfax C. H. was admitted to practice at this court. In the case of Commonwealth against L. N. Fewell, councel for defence, Judge Nicol, stated that he was not ready for trial on consequence of the absence of important witnesses. This case was again continued. There were about seventy-five decrees and orders entered in Chancery and a large number of common law cases disposed of.

As Mr. A. D. Wroe of the lower part of the county, and Mr. Samuel H. Jones, his brother-in-law, of Brook's Stations, Stafford county, were driving into Brentsville on Monday, their team became frightened at the noise of a flock of geese and shying, upset the vehicle, throwing the two gentlemen out and hurting them severely, though not seriously.

Wm. H. Pinn a colored man who has heretofore acted with the radical party in this county made a speech at Brentsville on Monday last, in which he scored radicalism pretty severely, and the Hon. James B. Sener particularly. He advised the colored people not to disgrace themselves by voting for Sener.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Faces from the Past: Corn Judging Contest

Manassas Journal
03 March 1932


Ivan May / John Hively / James Randall / Wilson Kite

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Mary Virginia (Strother) Leachman

Manassas Journal
20 November 1914


Had Been an Invalid for Several Years - Funeral Thursday Afternoon

Mrs. Mary Virginia Leachman, wife of Mr. John Pendleton Leachman, died Tuesday morning at the family home near Bristow. She had been in failing health for several years.

The funeral took place Thursday afternoon at her late residence and interment was made in the family burying ground. The services were conducted by Rev. J. F. Burks, rector of Trinity Episcopal church, of which she was a member.

Mrs. Leachman was the daughter of the late George and Mildred Strother, of Markham. She was born 55 years ago, and was married at the age of 26 to Mr. Leachman, who is now the treasurer of Prince William county.

She leaves five daughters, Mrs. D. B. Smith and Mrs. Allen Laws Oliver, both of Cape Girardean, Mo., and Misses May, Lillian and Marie Leachman, all of Bristow; three sons, Mr. J. P. Leachman, Jr., of New Mexico, and William and Keith Leachman, of Bristow, a sister, Miss Kate Strother, and three brothers, Messrs. Thomas, James, and Edward Strother, all of Markham.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wedding Wednesday: Mary Belle (Pridmore) Merchant / Benjamin Merchant

You never know what you're going to find when sifting through chancery and legal cases.  The marriage license shown below was an exhibit in the 1913 divorce suit between Mary Belle (Pridmore) Merchant and husband Benjamin Merchant.  It is a gold mine of information, including the names of both bride and groom's parents.  In addition, the case itself mentions the name of their child, Warren Merchant.

This divorce case can be found online at the Library of Virginia's digital collection under the chancery records.

(The suit was dismissed on 5 May 1913 at Mary's request.) 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Church Record Sunday: Trials of Soul and Flesh in 1860's Revealed by Pastors

Richmond Times Dispatch
27 October 1937

Trials of the Soul and Flesh in 1860's Revealed by Pastors

Walking 10 miles to preach a sermon, falling into a creek, watching the flames of war ravage, a church -- all this seemed to be just part of the day's routine for hardy ministers of the Gospel in the 1860's.

Those, at least, are some of the experiences mentioned by preachers in a packet of unpublished letters recently deposited in Spence Library, Union Theological Seminary. The correspondence, most of which dealt with the Sustenation Fund for Impoverished Ministers, was written to the Rev. J. D. Mitchell of Lynchburg during 1866.

The Rev. Matthew W. Jackson of Rough Creek described some of his troubles: "I sometimes walk 10 miles to preach and then home again on the same day; and on the third sabbath in January I fell into a creek about two feet deep and walked several miles home with my clothes wet and freezing..."

Couldn't Raise a Dollar

"As religion seems almost extinct in Eastern Virginia, we must awake in earnest," was his solemn warning.

From Prince William County the Rev. A. M. Hershy of Nokesville wrote:  "The church building, which was nearly new, was burned to the ground, it is said, by Unioin soldier,s near the end of the war ... The congregation was scattered..."

Light on the financial difficulties is given by the Rev. R. L. Dabney, noted theologian; the Rev. Moses D. Hoge, founder of Union Seminary, and Dr. James Woodrow, uncle of President Woodrow Wilson.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Francis H. Hereford

Alexandria Gazette
22 October 1851

Mr. Francis H. Hereford departed this life in Independence, Mo. on the 17th of July 1851.  Mr. Hereford was born November 23d, 1810, in Prince William county, Va.  Before leaving that State he was married to Miss Sarah Foot, a sister of the distinguished Gen. Foot of Mississippi.  He had been a citizen of Missouri for some time -- after residing in Boonville several years, he moved to Independence, where he died.

[Francis H. and Sarah Hereford are buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Independence, Mo. --cgl]

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Events: "The Dead Files" investigates the Weems-Botts Museum

Noted for years as being one of the most haunted places in Virginia, tonight the Weems-Botts Museum in Dumfries, Virginia, will be the focus of The Travel Channel's "The Dead Files."  The investigation focuses on the Merchant family, who resided in the house from the 1860's until 1968.

More on the museum and tonight's episode can be found here.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

People & Places: Former Elkhartan in Charge of Big Virginia Orchard (Ben Lomond)

Elhart Truth (Elkhart, Indiana)
5 June 1919


Former Postmaster W. H. Anderson of 714 West Lexington avenue, who is an intimate friend of Howard A. Knevels, for many years proprietor of a book and stationery store in this city, now of Manassas, Va., is in receipt of a letter from Mr. Knevels which contains the following statement of interest to the many friends of Mr. and Mrs. Knevels here:

"I am in the kind of work I enjoy. I have charge of about 100 acres of orchard three miles north of Manassas. I live in Manassas and go to the farm each day when the weather permits. I am my own boss and have a snap. The Ben Lomond farm is owned by F. W. Bruch of Cleveland, O. It consists of about 2,000 acres with quite a village of buildings and more going up. A $10,000 dairy barn was built last year. Two tractor sand 20 horses and mules are used and about 15 to 20 people are employed. A dairy of 80 cows is kept going, the milk being taken to Washington each morning. We have a dairy maid who has charge of the  milk business and she is scientific -- even prescribes the feed for each cow according to the milk she is expected to give.

On Edge of Battlefield.

"It is quite an interesting experience to me. Enjoy the whole business. We are located on the edge of the Bull Run battlefield. Bull Run goes through the farm. The old, big house, built similar to Mount Vernon, was used as a hospital in the time of those battles. People frequently pick up old shells, bullets and bayonets.

"I have an offer to take charge of 400 acres of mountain orchard next year in addition to what I have now. Those orchards will be seven years planted next year and are bearing considerable fruit this year. Thirteen hundred acres of apple orchard at the top of the Blue Ridge is some orchard. If I go to this orchard next year I shall live near there. It is near Markham, Va."

The letter is accompanied by a photograph of "our home." It shows a large, two story and attick structure with porches and surrounded by numerous shade trees.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: John U. Detrick

Richmond Times Dispatch
3 December 1916

John U. Detrick

[Special to the Times-Dispatch]

MANASSAS, VA., December 2 - John U. Detrick, for many years a resident of Dumfries, Prince William County, died of apoplexy on Wednesday at his home, near New Market, Md. He was about fifty-eight years old, and leaves a daughter, Miss Jane Detrick, of New Market, Md.; a son, Dr. Fred Detrick, of New York; a brother, Will Detrick, and two sisters, Misses Lillie and Katherine Detrick, both of Baltimore, Md.

Manassas Journal
1 December 1916

Death of Mr. Detrick

Former Resident of Dumfries Expires Suddenly in New Market, Md.

John U. Detrick, a prominent business man and farmer, died of apoplexy Wednesday at his home near Near Market, Md. He was about 58 years old.

Mr. Detrick, a native of Maryland, made his home at Dumfries, this county, for seven or eight years, returning to Maryland about three years ago.

He was twice married. Surviving relatives are his daughter, Miss Jane Detrick, of New Market, Md.,; his son, Dr. Fred Detrick, of New York; his brother, Mr. Will Detrick, and two sisters, Misses Lillie and Katherine Detrick, all of Baltimore.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Franklin Turner

Alexandria Gazette
6 October 1860

The following notice of the death of Mr. Franklin Turner is from the Missouri Statesman, and its republication in the Alexandria Gazette is requested. Mr. T. was an intelligent citizen, firm in his political principles of the Whig school, and one of the most obliging neighbors I ever knew. "He was my friend, faithful and just to me.      S.

Prince William County, Va.,

     On Sunday morning, the 16th ult., at 2 o'clock at the residence of his son, George A Turner, in Columbia, Boone County, Missouri, after a protract illness of Typhoid Fever, which he bore with Christian fortitude, Franklin Turner, of Saline county, and formerly of Prince William county, Virginia, aged about 54 years and six months.

The deceased was a kind and loving husband and father, and was at the time of his death a consistent member of the Old School Baptist Church of which he had been a member for over twenty-five years; and die with the full hope of the Christian, loving, trusting and believing on the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. His last words spoken were that "he knew the Lord was on his side."

He breathed his last in sweet sleep, calmly and without a struggle; "blessed are the righteous who die in the fear of the Lord." His death is deeply mourned by an aged widow and four affectionate children, and many friends.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Mary F. Elgin

Baltimore American
31 December 1905

Mrs. Mary F. Elgin, who died on December 22, was buried Sunday, December 24, in the family lot at Fairfax, Va. She was 72 years old and was the mother of 13 children. She is survived by her husband and the following children: Mrs. Mary C. Brown of Prince William county Va.; Mrs. Sallie A. Dyer, of Birk [Burke], Va.; Mrs. Rebecca Fairfax, of Washington, D.C.; Ernest T. Elgin, of Washington; Thomas J., John and Isaac Elgin, of Fairfax county, Va.; Edgar Elgin, of Philadelphia, and Milton and Clinton Elgin, of Baltimore.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Indentured Servant - Ranaway (Walter Wilcoxen)

Alexandria Advertiser
14 April 1804

Twenty Dollars Reward

Ranaway from the subscriber on Saturday the 7 inst. an apprentice boy named Walter Wilcoxen, about 5 feet 6 or 7 inches high, he took away with him two long coats, one roundabout jacket, blue pantaloons, and some other clothes. It is expected he has gone to his fathers in Prince William County, about thirty miles from town, near Hoe's old mill, on Occ[a]quan Creek. The above reward will be paid for delivering the said Walter Wilcoxen to the subscriber, and all reasonable charges, provided he is not brought back by those who were accessary to his running away.

Thomas Preston

N.B. I forwarn all persons from harboring or employing him as I will prosecute them, as far as the law will allow.


April 11

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Edward D. Meetze

Richmond Times Dispatch
25 November 1916


[Special to the Times-Dispatch]

Manassas, VA, November 24 - Edward D. Meetze, an inspector in the United States engineer service, dropped dead in Washington yesterday.  He was fifty-nine years old, a native of Lexington, S.C. and for many years had been a vestryman of the Church of the Ascension, Washington.  He leaves his wife, five daughters, his father and six brothers, two of whom, C.J. Meetze, Prince William County representative in the House of Delegates, and H.Y. Meetze, live in Manassas.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Society Saturday: Independent Hill Items (21 December 1917)

Manassas Journal
21 December 1917

Independent Hill

An ice cream and box social will be held at Hayfield School tomorrow evening for the benefit of the School and Civic League. A very interesting program is to be rendered, including a popular girl contest. The young ladies are requested to bring boxes and cakes. The public is cordially invited to attend.

A party was given recently at the home of Mr. David Copen. Among the guests from this section were Mr. and Mrs. Philip Weber, Miss Lillian Garrison, Messrs. Earl Lynn, Austin Greenwood, Newton Sayers, Richard Thorp, Max Weber and Leslie Merritt.

Miss Lillian Greenwood has been visiting relatives in Washington.

Mr. John Norman has moved to Dumfries.

Miss Mary Weber, who teaches at Purcell, will spend the holidays with her parents.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: William M. Nalls (1856)

Alexandria Gazette
4 December 1856

DIED, Mr. WILLIAM M. NALLS, at the hour of 3 o'clock, A.M., December 3rd, in the 65th year of his age, after a lingering illness of three months.  Mr. Nalls was formerly of Prince William County, Va., and previous to his removal to this city, about twelve months since, he resided several years at the Columbian College, Washington city, D.C.  He was for many years a member of the Baptist Church.  The remains will be carried from his late residence, corner of Henry and Wilkes streets, this morning, to the Depot, thence by Railroad to Thoroughfare Station, where they will be interred.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

What's New: Partial PWCo Deed Index

For those researchers who are unable to visit the many historic sites and genealogical resources in PWCo, I highly recommend Ron Turner's website

For many years, this dedicated gentleman has been transcribing, annotating, and publishing a wide range of material -- including court documents, vital records, and census records. 

Ron recently updated his website under the published works page to include a partial index of PWCo Deeds (Books A-Z). 

Thank you, Ron!!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday's Obituary Anna Ward (1852)

Alexandria Gazette
11 February 1852

OBITUARY - Died, on the morning of the 6th instant, in the village of Occoquan, at the house of Dr. A. H. Saunders, Mrs. ANNA WARD, relict of Z. Ward, esq., at the advanced age of nearly 87 years. Thus has terminated a very long and well-spent, and most exemplary life. Rare, indeed, are such examples set, as the life of the deceases has exhibited. None remain who knew her but to praise her, and revere her memory. Few have lived who so endearingly impressed their character upon the community around them. Her life was a daily and shining example of the affectionate mother, and exemplary and kind mistress, and useful, humane, and benevolent neighbor. It may be truly said of her that her whole life was one of duty and of usefulness in her day and generation. She was a professor of religion, a member of the Baptist Church, and died firmly relying on Jesus Christ as the Saviour of sinners, as the only name under Heaven whereby sinners can be saved.

Prince William, February 9, 1852
[Warrenton Flag, please copy]

[Anna/Anne Ward's Last Will and Testament can be found HERE. - cgl]

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Church Record Sunday: Prince William Auxiliary Bible Society (1829)

Alexandria Gazette
29 May 1829


Brentsville, May 3d, 1829

   The Annual Meeting of the Prince William Bible Society appointed to be held on yesterday, having been prevented by rain, the members thereof, sufficient to proceed to business, assembled to-day in the Court-House; and, the President being absent, on motion, the Rev. Elias Harrison, of Alexandria, late Corresponding Secretary to the Young Men's Bible Society of Alexandria, who favored the Society with is presence, was called to preside over the meeting.  The following Report was then read by the Corresponding Secretary, and adopted:


   The period fixed by the constitution of the Prince William County Bible Society for its Annual Meeting, and a Report of the Board of Managers, for the past year, having arrived, they beg lleave, respectfully, to present the following statement:

   In the first instance, its their duty to acknowledge the favorable circumstances under which they are permitted to meet together at this time, calling for the unreserved homage of their grateful acknowledgments to the Giver of all Good; and, although they are thus favored by their Divine Parent, they have to deprecate and lament the many deficiencies, on their part, in discharging those duties imposed upon them from the nature of their trust; but they, are nevertheless, encouraged to persevere, from the circumstances that they are not left wholly without hope of the ultimate success of the important work in which they are engaged. The means to perpetuate it are within their reach, and are attainable by proper management and renewed energies--which are alike indispensable to the accomplishment of all objects of importance. That Christianity has elevated the character of man, ,and blessed him, in the various relations he has sustained in this life, we presume will not be denied by many.  We must shut our eyes against the light of truth, if we do not yield implicit faith to the exalting virtues of our divine religion. We can, perhaps, form some estimate of its value and influence, by supposing that it had never shed its light and blessings upon us. -- What, then, would have been our condition, or the state of the world? In all probability, the gross darkness which benighted mankind int eh first ages, and, in some degree, now extends over our happy and beloved country, would have been perpetuated.  The "Star that attracted the curiosity of the Wise Men of the East," has become a sun of light to the  human race; and wherever its light reached, it has been the parent of civilization, of knowledge, and of virtue. Christianity being a revelation from God, recorded in the Bible, it must be obvious that we can never have a just and satisfactory view of its doctrines, unless we are possessed of the writings that promulgate them. In diffusing these sacred books, we, of course, render an all important benefit to our country; hence we should feel the importance of extending these lights to our fellow creatures of every condition, which would enable them to act correctly, and to appreciate justly the advantages and blessings we enjoy over every other nation, and above all, open the way to a state of unchangeable bliss.

   It gives them pleasure to state, that no occurrence has transpired, in the discharge of their duties, calculated to injure the cause -- They have endeavored to act upon what they conceive to be the spirit and intention of the constitution, and feel assured no instance can be adduced, in which secrarian feelings have had any influence in the discharge of their duties.

   Since the appointment of Managers, in the first instance, the names of Joseph A. Williamson and Wallace McCrea, Esqs. have been added to the list--the former to supply the vacancy, occasioned by the death of James Howerson, and the latter that of Dr. James B. C. Thornton, who has not rendered himself eligible by signing our constitution.

   As yet we have accomplished but little in the distribution of Bibles and Testaments, in consequence of inattention on the part of some of the Agents, and for the ant of time by the Treasurer to make collections and reports of the state of the funds. We have not the means of ascertaining, with any degree of accuracy, the number of persons destitute of the Scriptures within the county but, from the facts that have come to our knowledge, there is a much larger number than was anticipated.

   From the Treasurer's account, as audited, it appears that the sum of $25 have been laid out in procuring 14 Bibles and 70 Testaments -- nearly all of which have been distributed in various parts of the county by Agents appointed for that purpose. There remains, at present, in his hands the sum of $9 89 cents, to be laid out as heretofore; and the sum of $26 is yet to be collected from the list of the year now closed.

   Some remarks having been made by the Chairman, on the importance of the cause in which the members of the institution are mutually engages; the necessity of free expression of sentiment by the members, as to the most advantageous measures to be adopted; and the salutary effect of a resolution to go forward; and not to be content with small calculations, as to the work to be performed during the year upon which we had just entered--

On motion, it was
   Resolved, That the members of this institution will, in the course of the present year, if accompanied by the blessing of Providence, furnish each destitute family in the County of Prince William with a copy of the Holy Scriptures.

On motion,
   Resolved, That the constitution be so amended, that the annual meeting of this Society shall, in future, be held on the 4th Sabbath in March; at which time a delegate shall be appointed to attend the subsequent annual meeting of the Young Men's Bible Society of Alexandria.

On motion,
   Resolved, That we now proceed to the election of Officers for the present year.

Whereupon the following persons were duly elected:

   William J. Weir, President
   Richard Foote, 1st Vice President
   Francis T. Cheris, 2d Vice President
   Thomas R. Hampton,   Corr. Secretary
   Joseph A. Williamson, Treasurer
   Larkin N. Sanders, Recording Sec'y.

John S. Trone, George Washington Renoe, Robt. Latham, Bazil Brawner, James B. Ewell, Fitzhuh Carter, Joseph R. Lynn, Henry L. Lewis, George W. Fitzhugh, and Wesley Fitzhugh, Managers.

   Resolved, That the thanks of this Society be tendered to the President thereof, for his activity and zeal during the past year.

   And the meeting is adjourned.

Teste:  TH. R. HAMPTON, Cor. Secretary.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Rut Johnson / Asa Pickett

Alexandria Gazette
7 October 1824

On the 30th Sept. at his residence in Prince William county, Va., Mr. Rut Johnson, sen aged 82 years; long a respectable inhabitant of that county. Of him, it may be truly said, he was an honest and good man, the noblest work of God.

Republican Farmer (Bridgeport, CT)
1 October 1844

In Dumfries, Prince William county, Va., Asa Pickett, Esq., formerly of New Milford, CT, aged about 38.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Philip Lewis Burwell

Evening Times (Cumberland, MD)
30 May 1909


Mr. P. Lewis Burwell Died Suddenly Yesterday, Aged 75 Years

Mr. Philip Lewis Burwell, formerly of Mt. Savage, and identified for many years with the business interests of this county, died suddenly yesterday at his country place, near Hay Market, Prince William county, Va., aged 75 years.

Mr. Burwell is survived by his wife and three children: Mrs. Reginald L. McAll, of New York city; Miss Louisa Burwell, and Mr. Lewis Carter Burwell, of the home place, near Haymarket, Va. He was a brother-in-law of Dr. B. M. Cromwell, of Eckhart, this county, who married Mr. Burwell's sister, the latter having died some years since.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Newspaper Tidbit: Jail Escape: James Cornwell

Alexandria Gazette
10 October 1810


ALEXANDER HENDERSON, one of the Commonwealth's Justices of the Peace of the said County, to all Sheriffs, Mayors, Bailiffs, 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 did 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 sieze [sic] 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 the law.

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

A. Henderson (Seal)

Dumfries, Sept. 30-Oct. 3. d2w

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: Chap Steel / Jason Ketcham

Alexandria Gazette
17 February 1875

FROZEN TO DEATH. -- An old man living in Prince William county, near Burke's Station, named Chap Steel, is reported to have been found dead and frozen stiff in his house a day or two ago.  He lived alone.

Alexandria Gazette
16 November 1874

On Friday morning, November 13th, 1874, at his residence, in Manassas, of bilious intermittent fever, Mr. Jason Ketcham, aged 51 years.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Friend of Friends Friday: Ranaway (Wallace)

Alexandria Gazette
1 January 1850

$100 REWARD -- Ranaway from the subscriber, on Thursday 27th ult., negro man WALLACE, who is about 21 years old, stout and well built, dark color, bushy head of hair, 5 feet 6 or 8 inches high; he had a scar on one of his legs; had on when he left a dark mixed full Cloth Short Coat, light Cassinet Pants, and black Cloth Cap; he had two or three suits of Clothing with him, among them a pair of black Cassinet Pants, and a pair of full Cloth ones; also a blue Cassinet Sack Coat.

I will give the above reward of $100 if taken out of the State of Virginia, and $50 in said State; in either case he must be secured in jail, so that I get him again. All reasonable expenses paid if delivered to me in Dumfries, Va.

Robert Alexander

Dumfries, Va., jan 1-eo2w
[Leesburt Washingtonian]

Monday, January 16, 2017

Mystery Monday: John Henderson

United States Telegraph (Washington, DC)
1 January 1829


Of a Mr. JOHN HENDERSON, about 45 or 50 years of age, a native of Scotland, who lived near Dumfries, Prince William County, Virginia, and moved from there about 20 years ago and more. Settled afterwards, not far from Bath, then of Berkely County, Virginia, and who, about six years ago, left there for North Carolina. Should this reach the eye of any one who knows where he resides, the information will be thankfully received by one interested in his fortunes.  Address to M. H. Georgetown, D.C.

Dec 29-3t

[I wonder if the seeker ever caught up with Mr. Henderson.  --cgl]

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday's Obituary: James Nokes

Critic-Record (Washington, DC)
4 Septmeber 1875

Died.  NOKES. -- At his residence, Nokesville, Prince William county, Virginia, on Thursday, September the 2d, James Nokes, in the sixty-eighth year of his age, a native of Winchester, Virginia, but for forty-five years a resident of this city.

His funeral will take place on Sunday afternoon, September 5th, at 3 o'clock, from the residence of his son, No. 509 Second street north west.  The friends and acquaintances of the family are respectfully invited to attend.

[In 1865, James Nokes was a witness for David Herold in the conspiracy trial before the military court with regard to President Lincoln's assassination.  He is buried in Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC.  --cgl]

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Family Tree Maker: To update or not to update?

In this age of computers and digital information, software to keep track of ancestors and their history has become a must-have for the armchair genealogist and professionals alike.  Each software program has its advantages and disadvantages as well as strengths and weaknesses.  Essentially, the software you choose is what works for you -- from complicated charts and electronic filing to simple, easy to use trees.

I have been using Family Tree Maker ("FTM") since the 1990s.  It has always been simple to use and flexible; so much so that I never felt the urge or the need to change.  The software developer also made annual updates and upgrades to the program that helped it keep up with the times as genealogy research began to migrate from paper to online resources.  

The rights and developers for FTM changed hands a number of times, until they were eventually purchased by, the online giant that has a reputation for snapping up smaller genealogy sites and programs and turning them into vehicles for the company's profit.  While Ancestry maintained the software for a number of years, in December 2016 it announced that it would no longer support Family Tree Maker, leaving long-time users to fret (again) over what would happen to their years of research and data.  

Ancestry has since announced that the rights to Family Tree Maker have been acquired by MacKiev Software.   Last week, MacKiev began selling an updated version of Family Tree Maker on their website for both MAC and Windows platforms.  According to both Ancestry and MacKiev, the software will continue to be able to access Ancestry's 'leaf hints' in addition to incorporating new features.  

MacKiev has provided an FAQ for long-time users of FTM.  For those with significantly older versions of the program (mine is the 2009 edition), MacKiev is offering an upgrade for purchase.

Having invested more than 15 years in FTM, I am personally torn between upgrading this popular software with yet another "owner/developer" or whether it's time to explore other genealogy software avenues.  Especially since either option requires my spending hard-earned $$.

Decisions, decisions ...

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!


     We wish to express to our patrons and customers our appreciation of their trading with us, and trust that we may be favored with a continuance of their patronage.
     During the coming year we hope to serve you with greater efficiency than before, and we hope you will make our store your marketing place.
     A happy and prosperous NEW YEAR to you!

J. L. BUSHONG, Grocer
Service - Quality - Courtesy
Manassas, Virginia

[29 December 1921 Manassas Journal]

Echoing Grocer Bushong's sentiment from 1921, I would like to thank my readers for taking the time to visit this blog and for your contributions over the years.  My resolution for 2017 is to include more articles of substance in addition to transcriptions of newspaper and court documents.

Wishing you a 2017 full of happiness and blessings!