Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

Adamstown Indians or Upper Mattaponi Band

One of the most important of the hitherto little known and unrecognized bands resides below Aylett’s landing, south of Mattaponi River, about a mile inland. The district is called Adamstown from the large number of the Adams family (fig. 20, a). They are citizens and have independent holdings near a large swamp which harbors considerable small game. On Captain John Smith’s map of 1612 their location corresponds correctly with a village marked on his chart as Passaunhick. Archeological surface surveys in the neighborhood evidence an extended and numerous original population and the Indian blood of the inhabitants, their Indian tradition of descent, and consciousness of their Powhatan affiliation, leave little room for doubt that this group of about 75 individuals exhibits what is left of the tribe belonging on the upper Mattaponi River. For this reason I have chosen, after consultation with Mooney and Chief Cook, to refer to them henceforth as the Upper Mattaponi band. It should be noted, however, that even the oldest among them know of no specific name ever being applied to them, save that of Adamstown Indians. Even before the Civil War they were free. There is no remembrance of slavery, nor could we find any evidence of the people here having been “owned” during slave days, either in local records or among the old white inhabitants whose recollection extended back to ante-bellum days. There is little more that can be said concerning the history of this small group. Yet considerable folklore and fragmentary ethnological information remain to be harvested. During Mooney’s contact with the Powhatan enclaves he frequently had occasion to think of the Adamstown...

Jewish Pioneers on the Virginia Frontier

The experience of getting to know Brent Kennedy brought back a memory from the exact same year that Brent discovered his Melungeon heritage – 1988.  The loan closing documents for purchasing what my former wife and I thought was a long abandoned “Civil War Era” farm house in the Shenandoah Valley produced two big surprises.  The plat for the farm was drawn in 1755 and had as its draughtsman and surveyor, the big initials, GeoW . . . that’s George Washington.  The giant oak tree at the entrance to the farm’s driveway had displayed the same initials until the 1940s when a collector from Washington, DC had cut it out. The original deed, from the same year, was from Thomas, Lord Fairfax to someone named Jost Hite.  Eventually, Jost Hite sold the tract of land to Colonel John Tipton and the adjacent tract to John Sevier. Both men had initially built log cabins. Tipton then built a heavy timber house in 1770 while Sevier soon moved on to what is now Tennessee. Tipton’s wife died in childbirth in the master bedroom of our house in 1776.  Afterward, Tipton spent most of his time fighting the British, until moving to Tennessee himself.   The copy of my former Virginia house in Johnson City, TN is now the Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site. The name, Hite, intrigued me.  One summer while at Georgia Tech, I had dated a Belle from northern Alabama named with the last name of Hite.  Deborah was proud of the fact that she was descended from one of the first white settlers in northern Alabama.  She said that he...

Mattie Ould, Mrs. Oliver Schoolcraft

In the vicinity of one of Richmond’s fashionable schools there was often seen on winter afternoons, in the late sixties, a group of young girls, who possessed far more than the usual attractiveness that belongs ever to health and youth. Two, at least, Lizzie Cabell and Mary Triplett, were singularly beautiful. The third, a tall, slender girl, with a trim figure, dark skin and hair, and eyes perhaps downcast as she stepped lightly along listening to her companions, a stranger would scarcely have observed. If, perchance, however, as they paused on a street corner for a last word before separating, the downcast eyes were lifted, there gazed from out their soft depths a spirit that transformed the entire face. They were truly the windows of a soul, looking out upon the world with a frankness that was irresistible, and with a certain caressing fondness for life that begot a kindred glow in all it looked upon. In her sweet voice there was the same tone of caress as it gave a parting utterance to some flashing thought to which, likely as not, she paid the tribute of that honest smile, whose witchery still lingers in many minds. As she continued her walk homeward many lifted hats greeted her passing, many eyes followed her, and her name was murmured among many groups, for, young as she was, Mattie Ould was already wandering in the pathway of a fame that was to make her later the idol of the people of the South. Before she was beyond the tutelage of her old mammy the piquancy of her wit had established her...

Fanny Taylor, Mrs. Thomas Harding Ellis

The loveliness of Virginia women has been a theme of song and verse. Among the Richmond belles of sixty years ago none were more justly celebrated than that trio known as the Richmond Graces, Sally Chevalier, Fanny Taylor, and Sally Watson. Close companions from early childhood, their unusual beauty as they grew to womanhood brought them fame individually and collectively. Sally Chevalier became the wife of Abram Warwick, Sally Watson, of Alexander Rives, and Fanny Taylor, of whom this sketch is designed to treat at greater length, was twice married. She was educated at the excellent school of Miss Jane Mackenzie, in Richmond, at a time when a young lady’s education embraced a rather superficial dip into the languages, a good deal of poetry, some history, a neat Italian handwriting, and a care of their peach-blossom complexions and slender hands. Frivolous as it sounds compared with the curriculum of girls’ schools in good standing at this end of the century, the history of the South furnishes many evidences of the profundity as well as the brilliancy of its women. With her friends, Sally Chevalier and Sally Watson, Fanny Taylor was a pupil in the dancing academies of Mr. Xaupi and Mr. Boisseau. They excelled in the grace and beauty of their dancing, and at the Assembly balls it was their custom to occupy places in the same cotillon. They enjoyed the delicate celebrity of having pieces of dancing-music named after them, and when “Sally Chevalier,” “Fanny Taylor,” or “Sally Watson,” was called for, Judah, Ruffin, and Lomax, those dusky magnates of the ballroom, brought forth the melody with an...

Monacan Burial Customs

During the autumn of the year 1608 a party of the colonists from Jamestown, led by Capt. Newport, ascended the James to the halls, the site of the present city of Richmond, and leaving their boats, continued westward “into the Land called the Monscane.” This was the territory of the Monacan, a Siouan people who were ever enemies of the Powhatan tribes of the tidewater region, which extends eastward front the line of the Falls to the Atlantic. Moving westward from the Falls the party discovered the Monacan villages of Massinacak and Mowhemenchouch. Although the eastern boundary of this tribal territory was so clearly defined its western limits are not known, but at some time it undoubtedly extended westward to the mountains beyond the Jackson Valley. The Rivanna was near the center of this region, and at or near the mouth of this stream, on the left bank of the James, in the present Fluvanna County, Virginia, was one of the most important Monacan towns, Rassawek as indicated on the map prepared by Capt. John Smith. An Indian village seldom remained for many years on a, given spot, its position being shifted back and forth, as certain causes made necessary; therefore, it is more than probable that remains of an old settlement encountered on the river bank some 3 miles above Columbia indicate the site of Rassawck during some period of its existence. Traces of the town were exposed by the great freshet of 1870, and “when the water receded it was found that fully four feet of the surface had been removed, revealing not less than 40 or...

Virginia Genealogy at Ancestry

Ancestry is the largest provider of genealogy data online. The billions of records they provide have advanced genealogy online beyond imagination just a decade ago. The following is but a small sample of what they provide for Virginia genealogy at Ancestry. While some of these databases are free, many require a subscription. You can try a 14 day free trial and see if you can find any of your Virginia genealogy at Ancestry! Virginia Genealogy Databases at Ancestry Subscription May be Required Ancestry Free Trial Virginia Statewide Genealogy at Ancestry A discourse and view of Virginia A history of colonial Virginia : the first permanent colony in America : to which is added the genealogy of the several shires A history of the valley of Virginia A history of Virginia from its discovery till the year 1781 : with biographical sketches of all the most distinguished characte A new and comprehensive gazetteer of Virginia, and the District of Columbia : containing a copious collection of geographical, A Précis of the accomplishments of some early Virginia settlers A Virginia scene, or, Life in old Prince William Annals of southwest Virginia, 1769-1800 Cavaliers and Pioneers. Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1666, Vol. I Colonial churches in the original colony of Virginia : a series of sketches Colonial Records of Virginia Colonial Virginians and Their Maryland Relatives Dates of origin of Virginia counties and municipalities Diggin’ for Roots in Old Virginia Early Virginia Immigrants, 1623-1666 Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Vol. I Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Vol. II Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Vol. III Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Vol. IV Encyclopedia of Virginia...

Biographical Sketch of Dr. Herbert Seth Anderton

One of the most successful physicians and surgeons on the peninsula is Dr. Herbert S. Anderton of Burlingame, who although only established in this county two years, has a large and growing practice. Dr. Anderton was located in San Francisco when he saw the field of opportunities that waited at the door of the metropolis and quickly recognized this county as the land of advancement. After finishing medical school Dr. Anderton specialized on different subjects in several large eastern institutions. He then studied at the Marine Hospital in San Francisco and later was a surgeon in the emergency service in San Francisco. Dr Anderton is one of the directors of the Burlingame Commercial Club and one of the leading spirits of that organization. He has unbounded faith in the future of Burlingame and the peninsula and has made investments in Burlingame property. Dr. Herbert Seth Anderton was born in Virginia on September 29, 1885 and has been a resident of California for five years. Dr. Anderton belongs to the Burlingame lodge of...
Page 5 of 7212345678910...2030...Last »

Pin It on Pinterest