Central Virginia Heritage (online edition), Winter 2016 Available Now

A snippet from Sam Towler’s article, “Albemarle County Chancery Cases Preservation Project”:

In the 1970s, Albemarle County sent most of the chancery cases in its files which ended before 1912 to the Library of Virginia. The Library of Virginia preserved all the cases they received and put them in acid-free folders to prevent deterioration.  With the Albemarle County Clerk’s approval, I have been working on a project to preserve the post-1900 cases that Albemarle still had at the Courthouse in Charlottesville by unfolding the documents and putting the papers in acid-free folders provided by the Clerk’s Office.

For the rest of this article, and several others, go to “Members Only” on the menu bar above, and choose “Central Virginia Heritage — Current Issue.” (Note: You have to be logged in to this website in order to see “Members Only.”)

For those who are not members, we offer the opportunity to purchase a printed copy of each issue. The Winter 2016 issue is available from CreateSpace.com/6782694 for $6.50. Click on the CreateSpace.com link above or search for “Central Virginia Heritage” on the Createspace.com Store site.

If you have trouble logging in to the site to download your copy, or if you have trouble with the CreateSpace.com site, please contact me at the webmaster link at the bottom of this page.

Table of Contents for the Winter 2016 issue:

  • Division of the Negro Property of the Estate of William Morris of Louisa County, Virginia, 1832 … page 1
  • Albemarle County Chancery Cases Preservation Project … page 4
  • Last Will and Testament of Benjamin Franklin, of St. Anne’s Parish, Albemarle Co., VA … page 6
  • Early Broadus Wood High School History … page 7
  • The Wyatt Family of Albemarle County, Virginia … page 9
  • Reductions in Service at the Library of Virginia … page 11
  • The Times-Dispatch Genealogical Column: The Walker Family of Virginia … page 12
  • Castle Hill … page 16
  • James Govan Estate Settlement and Division of Slaves (1831-1835), Hanover Co., VA … page 18
  • List of the Hire of Negroes [of the Heirs of] Richard Terrell of Louisa Co., VA (1771) … page 19
  • Funeral Home Records Available Online … page 20
  • Letter from Edward Govan to Mary Govan Hill, near Fredericksburg, VA (1831) … page 22
  • Slaves of John Ambler (April 1829) at his Plantations in Amherst and Louisa Counties … page 23
  • President’s Column, by Patricia Lukas … page 24

P.S. Wouldn’t you like to see your research published in this beautiful magazine? Send it to any of the CVGA officers on the About CVGA page.

Central Virginia Heritage (online edition), Spring/Summer 2016 is here!

Order a print copy of Central Virginia Heritage, Spring/Summer 2016

From the President’s Column, by Patricia Lukas:
“Welcome to the first digital edition of the Central Virginia Heritage. Our last paper issue was mailed out in December 2014, ending a tradition that started in January 1983—over 30 years of publication. With this electronic issue, we are beginning a new tradition while building on the history of providing our members with articles of genealogical interest which will inform, educate, and inspire.”

Genealogical Research at the Albemarle County Court House, By John C. E. Christensen, Updated by Sam Towler, Jean L. Cooper, and Patricia Lukas

Introduction

We are fortunate that a potential gold mine of genealogical information has been preserved in the Albemarle County Court House. While working in the court house record room, I have had the pleasure of meeting fellow genealogists who have come from the far corners of the United States. In talking with them about the mechanics of their quests, I have discovered that many of them are overlooking court records that are full of information. I have compiled, in order to help others understand, this source-by-source guide to research in the Albemarle County Court House. It will also be useful in other Virginia counties; although the exact records maintained by each county vary, the basic types are usually the same. Familiarity with the records should come in handy for genealogical research in any jurisdiction.

All of the records listed in this discussion are to be found in the circuit court record room and historical record vault on the second floor of the Albemarle County Court House on Court House Square in Charlottesville. The only records not found in the court house are the suit papers, which are stored in the Library of Virginia, in Richmond.

For the rest of this article, and several others, click here to access your members-only copy of the Central Virginia Heritage, Spring/Summer 2016, v.32, no.1-2.

For those who are not members, we offer a printed copy of each issue beginning with this Spring/Summer 2016 issue, available from CreateSpace.com/6258210 for $6.50. Click on the CreateSpace.com link above or search for “Central Virginia Heritage” on the Createspace.com Store site.

In the near future we will be offering for sale a CD-ROM copy of the Central Virginia Heritage Archive, 1983-2014 — watch this space for future announcements!

(If you have trouble logging in to the site to download your copy, or if you have trouble with the CreateSpace.com site, please contact me at the webmaster link at the bottom of this page.)

Table of Contents for Spring/Summer 2016 issue:

  • Genealogical Research at the Albemarle County Court House, by Sam Towler, et al. … p.1
  • Plans of the Albemarle County Court House Clerk’s Office & Records Room … p.13
  • The Charlie Summer, by Susan DuBar … p.15
  • Announcing a New Adventure in Genealogy Education: Genealogy Professor, by Dick Eastman … p.16
  • Virginia Newspaper Websites for the Researcher, by Jean L. Cooper … p.17
  • How do I access the Central Virginia Heritage Archive? … p.18
  • Waller Holladay Lists of Slaves, 1854-1860 … p.19
  • Earlysville Community Neighbors, by Charles Conway Crenshaw … p.22
  • Genealogy Conference Announcements … p.25
  • President’s Column, by Patricia Lukas … p.26

Nostalgia: JEZEBEL

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.

 

Nostalgia: HISTORIC UNION CHURCH HOST TO VESPERS — June 3, 2015

HISTORIC UNION CHURCH HOST TO VESPERS
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.