Contributions of research articles needed for next Central Virginia Heritage

Dear Members of CVGA — Get out your pens!

In order to publish a newsletter for Fall 2016, we need several research articles to include in it. I know that you will be doing research all summer, and would like to share your efforts with other family history researchers, so please do send them in. The articles may be edited for length and content, and we cannot guarantee that all articles submitted will be included in the Fall 2016 issue.

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

Please note that we can now use illustrations (black-and-white or color) with your articles on the web or in print. If you intend to include illustrations, please contact me for details on format and resolution needed.

We are looking for articles on topics such as:

  • Resources to be found in a specific archive or courthouse in Virginia,
  • How you solved a specific problem in your research,
  • Genealogy of a particular Central Virginia family,
  • Transcription of a Central Virginia document or record that you think will be useful to other researchers,
  • Instructions on how to use a specific resource, or
  • Any other sort of article that you believe will be useful to your fellow researchers.

Send your original articles to any of the Board members — Patricia Lukas, Susan Emert, Susan DuBar, Pam Vandenhoff, Diane Inman, or Jean Cooper. Our email addresses can be found here: http://cvga.avenue.org/?page_id=5

 

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

Whittington Family of Bedford, Campbell, and Amherst Co., VA

Central Virginia Genealogical Association just received a gift copy of a new genealogy book, “Everyone’s a Whittington” by Sarah B. Atkins. Our thanks to Ms. Atkins. We will place this book in the library of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society.

The author says, “This book is the history of Thomas and Martha Whittington and their children who lived in Bedford, Campbell, and Amherst Counties, Virginia, from approximately 1740 through the 1830s.”

Ms. Atkins goes on to say, “if patrons of your library are interested in ordering their own copies, they are available from me at a cost of $50.00 each.” You may contact the author at the email address below.

email: sallieatkins@gmail.com

If you wish to order directly from the author through the U.S. mail, please contact the webmaster for the address.

President’s Message

As we begin the new year of 2016, I look back at my first year as president of the Central Virginia Genealogical Association with gratitude.

I am so thankful for the board members, a dedicated group of women who have guided the association through this past year. A huge thank you goes to Susan Emert, who, after seven years of faithfully performing her duties as president, has graciously served in the role of vice-president for 2015 and will continue to serve through 2016.

Susan DuBar, corresponding secretary since 2002, has bravely dealt with questions from members and institutions as we transition from the paper publication of the Central Virginia Heritage to digital publication.

Diane Inman, treasurer since 2012, always has the financial well-being of the association close to heart. She has worked to make it possible to pay dues online using Paypal and is working on making available a CD of all past issues of the Central Virginia Heritage.

Pam Vandenhoff began serving as recording secretary in 1998. She has recorded the minutes of almost 200 meetings of the CVGA. Good work, Pam!

Jean Cooper has ushered us into today’s digital world as our able webmaster. She has designed the beautiful website you are accessing and continues the hard work of making it fully functional for our members. In place is an online registration form which facilitates signing up for membership and soon she will have the bugs worked out so that members can read all of the back issues of the Heritage.

The Central Virginia Heritage will be published on our website. We are in need of an editor for the publication which we plan to produce twice-yearly. If you would be willing to take on this position, please let me know. Of course, the publication needs material. We look for original work within the association’s geographical region which can be found under ‘Home: About CVGA’ on this website.

In December, Sam Towler spoke to the group about his ‘Albemarle Courthouse Chancery Court Preservation Project’ which can be seen at the Facebook page under that name. Clearly, Albemarle County is not the exception with yellowed papers packed away in dusty vaults concealing valuable information about our ancestors. Such archives are there, just waiting for you to open them up and do some transcribing. The mild winter weather we have experienced lately is most suitable for a trip to your local historical repository, whether it’s a courthouse, an historical society, your church’s archives, or even a local funeral home. While you’re there collecting information, consider putting your findings into a form that can be published in the next issue of the Heritage.

Thank you for your continued support of the Central Virginia Genealogical Association in this new year.

Your president,

Patricia Lukas

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.

 

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

Central Virginia Heritage ceases print publication with Fall/Winter 2014 issue.

From the Fall/Winter 2014 issue of the Central Virginia Heritage:

“[This issue] is also the last printed edition [of CVH] that we will publish. The Central Virginia Genealogical Association members have been talking for over a year about discontinuing the printing of The Central Virginia Heritage because of the expense of publishing and mailing.  The members discussed this at length during the December meeting and it was decided to cease print publication after this issue. Also at the December 2014 meeting, a committee of six members was formed to investigate the options for electronic publication. Both motions were passed unanimously.”–Susan Emert, Outgoing President, CVGA

“It was decided that the print publication of the Heritage would cease with this issue and that the association would explore developing an electronic edition which will appear on the association’s web site at: http://cvga.avenue.org .”–Pat Lukas, Incoming President, CVGA