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Susan Dingledine

b. 28 September 1812

Mother Susannah B. Firestone b. 24 March 1780, d. 9 April 1851
Father John Balthazar Dingledine b. 24 August 1767, d. 6 November 1849
Pop-up Pedigree

Family John Jameson McCauley b. 8 February 1795, d. 26 February 1863
Marriage* 24 December 1835  VA, Principal=John Jameson McCauley 
Children  1. William McCauley b. 17 Jul 1837, d. b 1910
  2. Calpernia McCauley b. 1838, d. b 1920
  3. Isabella Jameson McCauley b. c 1840
  4. Virginia V. McCauley b. Dec 1842
  5. Edward Augustus McCauley b. c 1844
  6. Charles Austin McCauley b. c 1846, d. b 1870
  7. Mary Melvina McCauley b. Apr 1850
  8. Antoinette "Nettie" McCauley b. 1852, d. 7 Dec 1941

Birth* 28 September 1812  Rockbridge Co., VA 
Married Name 24 December 1835  McCauley 
Marriage* 24 December 1835  VA, Principal=John Jameson McCauley 
Census* 1850  1850 Federal Census, Virginia, Roanoke County, District 57, Series: M432, Roll: 973, Page: 287B, August 5
(enumerated with husband, John McCauley)
21, 390, 390, McCauley, Susan, 38, F, , , , Va, , , , ,1 
Census 1860  1860 Federal Census, Virginia, Roanoke County, Salem P.O., Series: M653, Roll: 1375, Page: 798, July 17
(enumerated with husband, John McCauley)
27, 863, 863, McCauley, Susan, 48, F, , , , , Va, , , ,2 
Census 1870  1870 Federal Census, Virginia, Roanoke County, Salem Township, Series: M593, Roll: 1675, Page: 358B, August 29
(enumerated with son-in-law, Marshall Frantz)
17, 65, 65, McCauley, Mary, 21, F, W, , Attending School, , , Virginia, , , , , 1, , , , ,
18, 65, 65, McCauley, Nettie, 17, F, W, , Attending School, , , Virginia, , , , , 1, , , , ,
19, 65, 65, McCauley, Susan, 54, F, W, , At Home, , , Virginia, , , , , , , , , ,3 
Census 1880  1880 Federal Census, Virginia, Roanoke County, Salem Township, ED: 64, Series: T9, Roll: 1387, Page: 597B, June 11
(enumerated with son-in-law, Marshall Frantz)
39, 240, 271, McCauley, Susan, W, F, 67, , Mother-in-Law, , , 1, , At Home, , , , , , , , , , , Virginia, Erbach (Gr), Pennsylvania4 
News/Obit* 2003  (A Guide to Historical Salem - Volume 9, Number 1 -- Spring 2003)

Kennerly School Was An Education Option Before Public Instruction

Long before the appearance of public schools in America, families had to rely on other means of education for their children. Either children were taught at home by their parents or through their church; more than a few were left uneducated altogether. Others might be apprenticed in a trade and so receive a limited education aimed at making a living. But for a few in the upper middle class and above, there was the option of the small private school operated by a professional teacher. Here one could be instructed in the “Three R’s” as well as history, classic languages, and moral education.
Salem, as the largest town in the Roanoke Valley, boasted several such private academies in her early years. Little is known of them or their students or teachers, but a letter survives from one such academy: Augustine Kennerly’s, which was located on the southeastern corner of Main and Union Street. The letter, dated 1825 and addressed to the Dingledine and Stoutamire families who lived east of town on Mason’s Creek, solicits students to return for a new term and explains why some may not have shown much improvement:

Fellow Citizens,

The time of my servitude as Master Instructor of your children having nearly expired and being desirous of serving you again, I am once more a candidate for your patronage.

Whether I have merited the confidence heretofore reposed in me by you, I am unable to tell, but if allowed to speak of myself on the present occasion, I feel conscious of having discharged my duty with faithfulness, and with as much ability and attention as I was capable of, ever making the improvement of your children and their understanding what they have studied, my first, and greatest care.

Perhaps it may be said that some of my pupils have not improved fast enough , or, as much as others for the time; to this, I claim the privilege of replying, that the capacities of the human mind are not all alike, and with children, some are more susceptible of rapid improvement than others, not withstanding the same care and attention being paid to them.

Should I meet with your approbations for the next ensuing session, which my intended application will shortly determine, I beg leave here to assure you that no pains nor effort shall be spared in facilitating the improvement of your children; by, Gentlemen, yours with respect.

Augustine Kennerly
Salem 5 Nov. 1825

One student who likely responded to this letter was Susan Dingledine, who would later become the wife of John McCauley, and the mother of local historian William McCauley (who preserved the letter, now in the archives of the Salem Museum). Kennerly disappears from the historical record soon after this, but we know of one other of his achievements: in 1856 he published a novel entitled Heiresses of Fotheringay, set in the fabled mansion of Montgomery County, and so seems to be Salem’s earliest published author.5 

Last Edited 25 Jan 2006

  1. [S4] 1850 U.S. Federal Census , 1850 U.S. Federal Census.
  2. [S46] 1860 U.S. Federal Census , 1860 U.S. Federal Census.
  3. [S71] 1870 U.S. Federal Census , 1870 U.S. Federal Census.
  4. [S100] 1880 U.S. Federal Census , 1880 U.S. Federal Census.
  5. [S505] A Guide to Historic Salem, online

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