Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   

Home Page


Genealogy Research and Records

HISTORY OF AMELIA COUNTY

Compiled from the notes of A. R. Hudgins


Contents Pages
1 - 6
Pages
7 - 13
Pages
14 - 20
Pages
21 - 27
Pages
28 - 34
Pages
35 - 41
Pages
42 - 47


{Page 14}

Mississippi to some river port in Missouri.

Mr. Williams died some years after living there and his widow married a Mr. Henry Carter.  Mrs. Carter came on a visit to Amelia during the Civil War and she also visited Amelia prior to 1849.  Her father died then.  The Amelia and Missouri relatives kept up a correspondence through the years.  The following are some notes from a letter written in December 1921 by Willis Gauldin to his first cousin Althea Wingo at Amelia Court House.

Notes:  Willis was then living at Marshall, Missouri.  His brother John was then 78 years old and had asthma.  John and Marshall Williams were living in Missouri.  John lived 12 miles from St. Louis and was a retired contractor.  Henry Williams had retired from drug store business.  Napoleon Williams died in 1920, age 80.  He was well off and lived in St. Charles County, Missouri.  Merit Gauldin died in 1919, age 82.  Merit's brother, Richard, was living in Southern California and had four children.  A daughter married Mr. Stokes.  One son is a railroad conductor.  Harold Gauldin a great nephew of Willis was then a professional singer and dancer.  When the author was a small boy in Amelia he carried letters to the post office addressed to Slater, Missouri.  Of late years there has been very little correspondence.  From another letter received in 1942 I find that the Missouri relatives are increasing in numbers and progressing in a very satisfactory manner.  Harold, Aubrey and Helen Gauldin are the names of the younger members of our Missouri relatives.  There are many others of the younger generation of the Williams and Gauldin families in Missouri but I do not know their names at this time.  More later of the Missouri relatives.

Edward R. Johnson, a son of John and Mary Wooldridge Johnson, was born in 1816.  He married Lucy Tucker in 1843.  They had one son, Leonodas {sic ? Leonidas ?}, nicknamed Bose.  He then married Rebecca Blanton in 1849. Their children were John, Kate, Roberta and William.  John and William went to live in Orange or Louisa County, married and died there and left decendants {sic s/b descendants}. Kate married William B. Flannigan, an attorney at law.  They had one daughter and nine sons who composed a formidable baseball team.  This was about 1912 or later.  Only one of these ten children had died before 1944 and the mother was living.  Several of the children were doctors or lawyers.  This large family was reared at Powhatan Court House, Virginia.  Their father met a tragic death in a fight with another attorney named Pilkington about 1900.

Thomas Edward Whitworth

Records show that there were many Whitworths in Amelia from about 1750 to the close of the second war with England in 1815.  After this time there seems to have been only one man named Whitworth in Amelia and he was Jacob Whitworth.  Surely they were not all killed in this war.  The author is of the opinion that many of them went south and west to settle this new land that was rapidly expanding.  Many thousands of soldiers of this war were given land


{Page 15}

in the south and west as a bounty or pension for their military service, provided they would settle on this new land.

Thomas Edward Whitworth was the second child and the first son of Jacob Whitworth and his second wife, Mary Rainbourne.  He was born February 1820 on his father's farm between Rocky Branch and Stocks Creek.  This home was located about a mile or less from where these two streams flow together.  This old house place {sic} was about three fourths of a mile, or a little more, north by north west of the present home of Mr. Thomas J. Thore.  All that is there now is a grave yard overgrown with bushes and vines and some black walnut trees.  There is a spring almost directly east of where the house stood and a large weeping willow tree.

Mary Rainbourne's home was on the next hill to the east and across Rocky Branch.  I'm almost sure her mother was a widow in 1816 when her daughter married Jacob Whitworth.

Thomas grew up on this farm that was about five miles north west of the village of Paineville.  His father, Jacob, was then in fairly comfortable circumstances.  He owned some slaves, very probably less than ten, counting children.  He owned a slave named Nathan Montague and his family, who lived directly east across a branch. (See also chapter on Slaves).

When the author of this was a small boy at the Whitworth plantation, Nathan's son, Robert, lived on this farm.  Robert (a one-legged man) had a brother called Van.

The author knows very little about what school Thomas Whitworth attended, or how long.  He never went away to school, and there were no public schools then.  He must have attended a private school close enough for him to walk to.

The first time he ever went away from home to work was just over the Appomattox River in Cumberland County.  Here he was employed by a medical doctor, who was Dr. Osborne.  He was manager (at this time called overseer) for this doctor, who lived not more than a mile from Stony Point Mills.  I am not sure how long he was at this place.  But I think it was a long time, possibly ten years.  Dr. Osborne gave him a very beautiful small table which was sold as an antique about 1900.

The next record of him was in 1852, when he married Susan Althea Johnson.  In the meantime he had bought the adjoining farm to his father's place, which was sold to him by Mr. Peyton Jeter.  He took his bride to this newly bought farm in the summer of 1852.  By this time he was acquiring property and slaves and getting on well.  His first child was born in 1853, and every two years, on almost regular schedule, there was an increase until the Civil War caused a three year interval instead of two.

He moves {sic s/b moved} from this farm about 1857 to Paineville, where he bought the large general store of Timsley Jeter, and later this man's home, which was a very large frame house in a grove of more than thirty large oak trees.  He operated his large general store with his brother-in-law as Whitworth and Johnson for a while, then as T. E. Whitworth.  He bought and sold tobacco.


{Page 16}

About this time he and his wife operated a boarding school for girls.  He had been operating the farm he brought {sic s/b bought} from Mr. Jeter which was known locally by this time as "Whitters Quarters".

Mr. Mack Goode was a neighbor of Jacob Whitworth, and had a very good opinion of Thomas E. Whitworth, whom he induced to be guardian for his grandchildren, whose last name was Steger.  This money of the Steger children was invested in Confederate bonds which later became worthless, and was repaid with interest in hard times which taxed the ability of the guardian severly {sic s/b severely} to make it good, and support his large family also.  Times became so bad that he to mortgage his two farms and sell a part of his land to a friend that he had helped, who bought this land to repay a kindness.  It was a hard struggle for him from about 1870 for a good many years.  After his children became old enough to help some, he manged {sic s/b managed} to pay off the mortgage on his farm at Paineville, which was almost lost on account of this debt.

His two sons, Thomas E. Jr. and Charles C. Whitworth, paid off the mortgage on the larger farm, which was given to them, provided they paid this debt.

At one time he was a part owner of a saloon, or bar-room as they were called then and did not feel dishonored by doing so, nor were they looked down on by their neighbors, who were regular customers.

I must go back to relate this incident.  When the "Yankee" army came through Paineville in April 1865 he was taken prisoner and carried to the next village to the west, which was Rodophil, about three miles or more and released there.  I expect he walked back home, for if he had a horse it would have been taken away from him.  I have heard my grandmother say he was probably taken prisoner by someone with no authority to do it, and as soon as someone with authority found out what was done, he was released.  His wife informed a Yankee officer that her husband had been made a prisoner and asked him to have him released.  This probably was the reason he was back home so soon.

I will say here that the subject of this chapter, Thomas Edward Whitworth was the grandfather of the author of this.

Thomas never wore a uniform in the Confederate army, he was rather old to go in when it started.  He gave of his time and means to carry on the war, and was appointed by the Confederate governmant {sic s/b government} to see to it that the families of soldiers in the field were provided with food, and the necessary things to live on. I do not know the details of what he had to do then.  He was not a man who talked of his many experiences in life, and the author of this was a small boy when he passed away.  The author has good reason to think that at least a part of the assistance given to families of soldiers was never paid back to him by the government.  I have been told that he went away at times to be overseer of laborers building fortifications.  He went at least once into the mountains of Virginia.


{Page 17}

William Branch Giles

William B. Giles seems to be the most important man politically from Amelia County.  He was born in Amelia in August 1762.  He was the son of William and Ann Branch Giles.  He attended Hampden Sydney College, then went to Princeton College where he took with him a negro slave as a servant or attendant.  He graduated from Princeton in 1781.  William studied law at William and Mary College under Wythe.  He practiced law in Petersburg to the time he was elected to Congress in 1790.

He resigned from Congress in 1798 and was elected to the General Assembly of Virginia.  He went back to Congress in 1801 and became an administration leader and as a debater, second to one in Congress.  As a debater he was ranked with the ablest men of his time.  He was associated with such famous men as Jefferson, Madison, and Dexter.  He was a friend and supporter of Jefferson.

He was classed as a conservative, was a member of the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1829-1830 although he opposed his {sic} convention.  He did not hesitate to oppose the most famous, such as Washington, Chief Justice Marshall, and Henry Class.  He finally lost influence with his party and resigned from Congress in 1815.  He was elected governor of Virginia and served from 1827 to 1830.

He married Martha Peyton Tabb in 1697 {? s/b 1797 ?}.  She was the daughter of John Tabb, who owned over fourteen thousand acres of land in Amelia.  He married Frances Ann Guynn in 1810.  He left descendants.  His Amelia estate was "Wigwam", located on the Appomattox River not a great distance from Lodore.  I understand that the old house has been restored and is now the residence of a family of Harrisons.  Mr. Giles died at this very large estate in 1830.  Jones flour mill which is nearby was formerly called Giles' mill.  This is in operation now, 1943.  I am informed that John Randolph often visited Giles at his home in Amelia.

Infidel Club at Paineville.

From the best records available this was called the Tom Paine Infidel Club for Philosophic Study and Debate.  This club held meetings in a hall about 150 feet south west of the tavern and on the north side of the Genito road.  This hall was built about 1795.  There is some question about whether it was built by the Infidel Club or by the Paineville Lodge of Masons.  One reliable historian says it was built by the club.

The leading men in the organization of this club were William B. Giles of Amelia, who was later governor of Virginia, and an Irish refugee named Burk.  With such a distinguished man as Giles as a leader, this club probably had an influence that was more than local.  This club flourished and grew and continued for a time.  Dr. James Jones of Nottoway became a leader in it later.  This man had studied medicine in Philadelphia and in Edinburgh, Scotland, and had brought back infidel ideas from abroad.  After being a leading spirit for


{Page 18}

sometime, Dr. Jones was sorely grieved by the death of a child.  His club members and infidel philosophy were no comfort to him in this grief.  He turned to religion and found comfort.  He called his club together and delivered a Christian lecture to it.  It is said the infidel club disbanded and never met again.  The club ceased to exit {sic s/b exist} about 1810.

Dr. Jones became a pillar of strength in the Presbyterian Church and was a great influence for good in southside {sic s/b south side} Virginia, in which there was a great revival of religion in 1825.  In his will he gave freedom to all his slaves who wished it. I am reliably informed that he aided at least some of them to back to Africa to the colony that was established in Liberia.

News

Bristol Parish was organized in 1642 by an act of the House of Burgesses.  It was part, possibly all, of Prince George County at that time.  All of what is now Amelia County was a part of Bristol Parish up to 1734.  In 1734 the western part of Bristol Parish became Raleigh Parish and Amelia County.

A "fort" was built at Petersburg in 1645.  Fort Henry was built at Appomattuck {sic}.

In 1740 John Lerderer, a German traveler explored into North Carolina from Richmond, Virginia.  It is recorded that this John Lerderer was a medical doctor, a German, and also a Franciscan monk.  He wrote an account of his explorations in Latin.

In 1720 Bristol Parish paid a widow named Bass 720 pounds of tobacco for keeping an orphan child.

Old Sapponey town was situated on the north side of the Bristol River or later Appomattox River in 1720.  There is some doubt about just when the name of this river was changed to Appomattox.  It was after 1700.

Bristol Parish, 1721:  It is ordered that William Dodson, Jr., be allowed for the time he hath kept his father to this day, 600 pounds of tobacco and to continue to take care of his father and bring his account to be paid by the vestry.

Note by the author:  Churches were imposed on in the early days as this proves.  It was ordered that church wardens bind a bastard child to Ben Dison which was born of a servant woman of his according to law.

Woods Church, built in 1707, is five miles from Petersburg in Chesterfield County.

1733, ordered that Rebecca Chaves be bound to John West as the law directs.  That Sarah Chaves be bound to William Mackewen as the law directs.  Note:  Chaves is a common Spanish name.


{Page 19}

November 12, 1733, ordered that ten thousand lbs. of tobacco be levied towards defraying the charges of a Chapel ordered to be built at Flatt Creek.

Thomas Spain, clerk of Namozine Chapel was paid 1600 pounds of tobacco as salary in 1734.

Captain John Smith wrote of Appomattuck River for the first time.  It seems this river was first named Appomattuck, (Indian name), then it was called Bristol River.  The name was then changed to Appomattox soon after 1734 or maybe before this date.

Two respectable planters were appointed in each parish to go around every man's land once ever {sic s/b every} four years and renew the marks upon the line trees in the presence of the owner and his neighbors.  This was called "Procession".

In 1736 there were 649 "tithables" at twelve pounds of tobacco per head in Amelia County.  Note:  The church assessed these people this much tobacco and they had to pay it for the support of the church.

In 1736 Amelia paid a bounty on twenty-nine wolf heads.  In 1737 a bounty was paid on thirty-six wolf heads.

In 1738 the church assessed each tithable ten pounds of tobacco to support the church.  23 wolf heads paid for in 173{9}.

In 1739 there were 943 tithables in Amelia assessed twenty two pounds of tobacco per head to support the church.

In 1740 John Roberts, a minister was proved to be of bad moral character.  Bristol Parish, 1740, all tithables were assessed twenty one pounds of tobacco per head for the support of the church.  About 1740, relay stations where teams were changed on stage coach routes were twelve miles apart.  Location of these was near Petersburg.

In 1724 in Bristol Parish a minister named Robertson was paid sixteen thousand pounds of Orinocoe tobacco as his salary for one year.

In 1742 there were 1394 tithables assessed nine pounds of tobacco per head.  1120 pounds of tobacco for wolf heads at 140 pounds each.

In case a home for the minister was not furnished by the church he was allowed in one instance an additional four thousand pounds of tobacco.

In 1747 Dasey Southall kept a tavern at his house in the western part of Amelia County.  He had to give bond to King George II, that he would constantly find and provide in his said ordinary good, wholesome and clean lodgings and diet for travelers and stablage {sic}, provender and fodder.  No unlawful gaming or getting drunk on Sundays.

In 1756 Caroline County, Virginia, a hog{rest of word blank, I assume s/b hogshead} of tobacco weighed a thousand pounds as a rule.  Some weighed five hundred pounds.


{Page 20}

In 1804, Indians in goodly numbers were living in Nottoway County.  A petition requesting that they be represented by trustees was presented.

In 1894 births and deaths register from 1785 to 1798 which was lost for many years, was found.

Marriages

Benjamin Allen married Jane Jeter, daughter of Rodophil, in March 1809.

James Allen married Elizabeth Jeter, daughter of Rodophil, in March 1806.  Surety was James Gills.

William Allen married Betsy Johnson in March 1784.  Surety was Archer Johnson.

Dr. John R. Archer married {first name blank} Tabb in 1801.  Bathurst Randolph was surety.

George Baldwin married Elizabeth Vaughan in March 1800.  Willis Vaughan was surety.  She was a daughter of Nicholas Vaughan.

Gideon Seay was surety in 1787.  Many Belchers on the marriage list.

David Bell married Elizabeth Foster in 1808.

David Bell married Mary Wingo in 1840.

Willis Blanton married Miss Ligon in 1824, and Miss Jeter in 1830.

Joseph Boswell married Elizabeth Elliott in 1753.

Purify Willson married a Mr. Broadfoot in 1796.

Abner Chappell married Susanna Moore in 1786.  She was a ward of John Tucker.

James Chappell married Phebe Archer in 1767.

James Chappell married Nancy Vaden in 1806.

James Chappell married Louisa Marshall Seay in 1825.

Mason Jeter (a woman) married David Crenshaw in 1786.

Worsham Foster married Martha Wood, daughter of William, in 1816.  Thomas W. Webster was surety.

William Hawkins married Delilah Martin, daughter of George Drinkard, in 1772.

Thomas Hold married Anny Seay in 1809.  Daughter of Dudley Seay.


Contents Pages
1 - 6
Pages
7 - 13
Pages
14 - 20
Pages
21 - 27
Pages
28 - 34
Pages
35 - 41
Pages
42 - 47

Source: Booklet on file at the Virginia State Library Archives, #F 232 A54 H76.
Transcription by Susan Shields Sasek, 9 Feb 2004.


If you would like link to this site, please link to the home page as the names and/or location of the pages may change as the site grows.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Most of the information, images, etc. on this web site is NOT public domain -- it is placed here to help other genealogists with their personal research use only. The data and images are copyrighted either by myself, the submitter, or the source. NO PORTION of any of this web site may be copied, recopied onto any web site (or any part thereof) for any purpose; cached, redistributed, included or used in any format for public, commercial or profitable purpose without written permission of the copyright owner for each instance.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am not necessarily related to or researching a person or family just because the name is on this site. I include items to help other researchers, and the site includes a substantial amount of information that other reseachers have generously sent to be shared with others. I believe that in addition to the quest to get information, genealogists and family historians should equally do something that they can to share information to further the research and knowledge of others. Please support and help free genealogy prosper by sharing your records and/or research -- if you can't put it online, find someone who can.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My sincere thanks to my "genealogical angels" -- all of the special people who have helped me in my genealogy research and those who have generously sent me their research and records to be shared with others. Please see the contributors page to view some of their names.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Always be sure to document your sources fully whenever possible -- genealogical information without sources is considered unreliable. And please give proper research credit to those to whom it belongs (you wouldn't want your work plagiarized by others would you?). Please remember to use the information you find on this site (and the internet in general) as a research aide -- I cannot verify the accuracy of the information.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I hope you find something within this web site to help you in your research. I add information to the site as I transcribe or scan more records, or as they are shared with me by others -- it's always a work in progress

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Visit RootsWeb This is a Genealogy site. Real Genealogy - Not Just Links


Search Entire Site Site News & Updates Visitors & Queries Contributors Links Contact Page

Page Updated on: 6 Jan 2006 Page Visitors: c. Susan Shields Sasek