Nostalgia: JEZEBEL

By Susan DuBar
Central Virginia Genealogical Association member

I don’t know what got into my grandmother that summer. Was it seeing the children next door with a pet pig? Pets moved in and out of their house as might be expected from the children of a veterinarian. Petunia had been the runt of a litter; neither the sow nor the farmer wanted to be bothered with her. My grandmother thought she was cute, and decided that I, too, should have a pet pig. I would have preferred a pony but didn’t really have a choice.

Not just any pig would do—mine had to be a purebred, black-and-white belted Yorkshire from a local farmer. Apparently all had been arranged before my arrival, so within a few days we headed out to Harley’s place, just outside of town. As my grandmother and Harley chatted, I wandered up and down the rows of pens in the barn, staring in fascination at the tiny piglets nursing in contentment, dwarfed by their huge mothers. Some pens held sows whose excessive girth indicated they were about to give birth; other pens held older litters squabbling over food or sleeping in haphazard piles. It was difficult to hear mere human voices over the cacophony of grunts and squeals, but eventually I noticed the two adults beckoning me to come over. Harley gave me a tiny piglet to hold; he said she was less than 24 hours old. Her mother had too many babies to take care of all of them.

Like all infants, baby pigs need frequent feeding. I had the privilege of giving her a bottle as soon as we got home. She was a little messy at first, but soon caught on and polished it off in a hurry. A cardboard box on the enclosed back porch was her bed. That lasted one night as she quickly learned to climb out and squeal for attention. My grandmother must have been prepared to shoulder the main responsibility for the baby; my mother spent her adult life denying all things rural, and I was too young. At any rate, it was my grandmother who had to get up for the two a.m. and four a.m. feedings.

The cardboard box on the back porch, while a temporary expedient, really wasn’t satisfactory for a fast-growing piglet, so she soon moved out to the back yard and into an old safe that had been converted to use as secure housing for previous pets. The screen door allowed plenty of air.

Picking out a name for the piglet was my job, and I wasn’t getting very far with it. Petunia had been taken, Porky was a boy’s name, and what was left after that? I had been sent to the grocery for a few items and mentioned my dilemma to the proprietor. She thought it over as she filled out the charge slip and suggested “Jezebel” after the popular song by Frankie Laine. I liked the sound of it, so Jezebel she became.

Naturally I had to introduce her to the community, and what better place than the ice cream social held in the church yard across the street. I don’t know if the ladies were more amused by her name or by the sight of a bottle-fed piglet swathed in a pink baby blanket, but they were remarkably tolerant and made us welcome. Jezebel didn’t stay long; I put her to bed and returned to enjoy the festivities. Those women could cook! Jezebel hadn’t been the only pig in attendance. There were plenty of the human variety tempted by the array of cakes and pies, hot chicken sandwiches, deviled eggs, and the star of the event, homemade, hand-cranked ice cream in several flavors.

Jezebel wasn’t a bottle baby for long; she quickly graduated to mash (standard pig feed), to my grandmother’s relief. That she thought we were her family was clear; she was happy roaming the yard so long as she had one of us in sight. We had to be careful if she followed us to the garden. She could easily get lost among the beans and would squeal pathetically for us to come rescue her. She gave us all a chuckle the day she discovered a minuscule puddle on the concrete slab behind the house. With happy little grunts she did her best to wallow in that teacup of water, leaving no doubt that she knew what pigs were supposed to do.

Jezebel had all but outgrown her quarters by the time my visit was ending. There was no problem finding a home for her—my grandmother had known all along that her cousin would let Jezebel join the pigs on his farm in the next county. She would visit him from time to time, and always made a point of seeing Jezebel and reporting her progress to me in a post script to one of her weekly letters.

That was the year her cousin discovered the government would pay him NOT to farm; he sold all his pigs, including Jezebel and her litter of eight. The proceeds from Jezebel’s sale were used to buy a nicely trained pinto named Joker for me to ride whenever I visited, so I got my pony after all.

© Susan DuBar 2015. All rights reserved.



By Charles Crenshaw, Central Virginia Genealogical Association

On Wednesday evening, June 3, 2015, the doors opened at the old Earlysville Union Church in downtown Earlysville, Virginia, for a Community Vespers Service. Walking in the door was like stepping back 150 years in time. Six kerosene lamps on the walls of the Sanctuary and one in the entrance area provided lighting, and the smell of kerosene filled the air just as it did years ago. The old wood floors have survived the years. The pulpit  is a slightly raised rounded area surrounded by a wooden fence. On the wall behind the pulpit is a picture of Jesus with lambs. In the center of the Sanctuary ceiling, the smoke stains are visible from the old wood stove stack. The pews, still in place, are of good hardwood, and no, there are no pillars. On either side of entrance area are very small rooms for Sunday School.

As people arrived, they were greeted by First Impressions member Andy Emert and one other at the doors and handed a Bible and hymnal. At seven o’clock the Ukuleaders played the old hymn, “Shall We Gather at the River,” followed by seven tolls of the hour by John Peterson. There were forty people in attendance on this evening.

There were scripture readings, songs, and prayer. Katie Alfano played her guitar and led in singing. The Chestnut Grove Baptist Church Choir kept us in tune and greatly enhanced the sound. Sarah Ford read scripture from Philippians 4:4-9. Edith Fisher offered the Guided Prayer, reading a line and giving us time to silently say our prayer on the subject of that line.

I sat close to the back and kept an infant entertained with finger and hand movements—even got some smiles. Sitting there I could not help but picture how things must have been in the mid-nineteenth century when this was the building that a number of churches called home, including Chestnut Grove Baptist Church. This location is where the name Chestnut Grove was adopted. I could picture my great, great, great grandfather, William Crenshaw, sitting there with his family in one of those pews. I wondered, could it be the pew where I was sitting? The urge came over me to sit in every pew after the service was over.

I could picture the horses tied up outside, and the horse and buggies parked and tied to hitching posts. The main road outside would have been dirt or mud. The huge old chestnut trees would have provided the shade for the horses and the church. Most of the people attending would have done a half day’s work feeding horses, cattle, hogs, chickens, and turkeys, milking the cows, making a fire in the wood cook stove, doing the cooking for breakfast, and preparing for the dinner when other family members would come after church for the noon meal. Breakfast was not just dumping Cheerios in a bowl; it was freshly made biscuits, eggs, fried ham, and red-eye gravy, maybe even some fried apples. These people had to be strong, tough, and hard-working to survive. I was brought back to the present day when I remembered the lawn outside was now parking for automobiles. Not a horse could be seen.

As people left, they turned in the Bibles and hymnals which were placed in boxes for the trip back to Chestnut Grove Baptist Church. After most had left, Edith Fisher climbed the ladder at each lamp to remove the glass cover and blow out the flame.

For those who may never have read the history marker at the Union Church, I stopped one day and wrote down the words. They are copied below:

Earlysville Union Church is a rare surviving early 19th-century interdenominational church constructed in Albemarle County. Built in 1833, this frame structure served as a meetinghouse for all Christian denominations on land deeded by John Early, for whom Earlysville is named. This building provided an early home for several local congregations of the Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian faiths. The church is an excellent example of the 19th-century public architecture of rural Piedmont Virginia. It was listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. Department of Historic Resources, 2003

 © Charles Crenshaw 2015. All rights reserved.



What is the first step in doing genealogical research? Look anywhere and you will find this advice, “Start with what you and your living relatives know.” Sitting down together with friends and family for Thanksgiving dinner gives many of us a rare opportunity to reminisce about our lives. When dinner is over, sit in a quiet corner with an older person and record a conversation using the StoryCorps app on your smartphone.

Yes, I know, many of you who are reading this are the ‘older person’ and you might not even own a smartphone, but read on. The Great Thanksgiving Listen was designed as a learning tool for students 13 and older to record and preserve the stories and voices of older relatives. It’s all about listening. If you have a teenager in your family, they might have already heard about this project from their history teacher but anyone can participate. If the person being interviewed agrees, the recording will be saved to the StoryCorps archives at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Go to to read about the project, download the app, and

“Help StoryCorps archive the wisdom of generations.” 

December 12, 2015 Meeting

Please join us on Saturday, December 12, 2015 when Sam Towler will tell us about his new courthouse project. Sam is unpacking boxes of early 20th century Chancery Court cases, placing the papers in archival sleeves and boxes and writing up descriptions which he shares on Facebook at ‘Albemarle County Chancery cases Preservation Project”. Be sure to visit the Facebook page and see what Sam is doing.

The meeting will take place Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints located at 1275 Timberwood Blvd., Charlottesville, VA 22911, just off Airport Road. Drive to the back of the church and enter at the back door.
For more information, call 434-962-4697.

Electronic 2016 Membership Renewal Available Now

I have added a CVGA Membership Renewal Form on the right side of this page, at the top of the right column. This is what it looks like: CVGA Membership Renewal Form

You’ll find an information form to fill out, and a PayPal button to allow you to pay your dues. Please let us know if you have difficulty with the form or the payment button. For questions and comments, contact the Webmaster or the Corresponding Secretary, with the links on the footer of this page.

President’s Message — Nov. 3, 2015

Recently I have been reading through 31 years’ worth of Central Virginia Heritage. As I read, I soon came to appreciate the countless hours of writing, researching, transcribing and editing that resulted in over 100 issues. Nine volunteer editors, Steven G. Meeks, Charley Moore, Clifford Evans, Robert Vernon, Arlene Page, Teresa Kelley, Bob Niehaus, Sam Towler and Andy Emert, took on the responsibility to get the Heritage out. The names of editors, assistant editors and contributing editors are there to see but many more people had important roles as indexers, copy editors and spell checkers. These friends and family members, who remain for the most part unnamed, deserve our thanks as supporters of these hard working editors. Thank you all very much for all the hard work you did and the many hours you devoted to making the Central Virginia Heritage a valuable resource for genealogists.

The last print edition of the Heritage was the Fall/Winter 2014 issue. The cost of printing and mailing the paper publication was draining our limited treasury. Soon we will begin to have articles available to you on this website. There will be family histories, research articles, transcriptions of historical documents, and nostalgia articles. Some articles will be posted for all to read and others will be for members only. Members will also have access to the archive of the Central Virginia Heritage. To become a member, see Membership.

You can contribute to the work of the CVGA. Have you searched for documents in a courthouse in central Virginia? Does your church have records that would be useful to genealogists? Would you like to see your family history online for distant cousins to read? If you have original work you would like to submit to our editors for consideration, please see the guidelines under Publications.

Thank you for visiting our website. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Your president,

Patricia Lukas

Family History Conference Coming Soon

Preserve Your Family’s History is the theme of the Family History Conference which will take place on Saturday, November 7, 2015. The location of the conference is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Airport Road. The conference will run from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm. Registration will begin at 8:30 am and the keynote address by Katie Derby will begin at 9:00 am.

For more information and to pre-register, go to

The conference is free and open to the public.


We will revisit our courthouse project which we introduced last year. Hands-on research in courthouse records can lead to important discoveries in our search for ancestors. If you have done any on-site research in any location, please tell us about your experience and what you found (or didn’t find).
The meeting will take place Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints located at 1275 Timberwood Blvd., Charlottesville, VA 22911, just off Airport Road. Drive to the back of the church and enter at the back door.
For more information, call 434-962-4697.



There will be NO CVGA meeting on November 14, 2015. We encourage everyone to attend the annual Family History Conference which will take place on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Airport Road north of Charlottesville.

Registration will begin at 8:30 am and the keynote address will begin at 9:00 am. The conference is free and open to the public.