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HISTORY OF AMELIA COUNTY

Compiled from the notes of A. R. Hudgins


Contents Pages
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7 - 13
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21 - 27
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{Page 42}

When Mr. Charles Seay was an old feeble man, and probably in his second childhood, he seemed to develop a grudge against the church-shop that he had worked in so long.  He swore that the old church should not out-last him.  He began to take it down with his own hands, about 1912.  His wife did not want him to do it but she could not stop him.  He may have hired some help on it, I am not sure.  The old church was partly taken down, then in February or March 1913, a storm blew it down.  Some of the timbers from it were hauled to Jetersville and used to build a part of a blacksmith shop by a colored man named Charles Pitchford.

Built in 1749 or 1750, taken down and blew {sic} down in 1912 and 1913, this is the history of the "Old Paineville Church".  This history is just as true as this author knows how to write it.

It is a pity his {sic ? s/b this ?} church was neglected as it was.  If it had been kept in repair with a good roof on it, it should have last {sic s/b lasted} another hundred years.  Most people around there were poor, and had little to spend on such things.  It was in such poor condition and had such a bad roof on it, it would not have stood much longer than 1913.

Mr. Seay built or had built a small shop just to the north of where the old church stood, and made some coffins in it.  He was then old and feeble, and it was not so long (about 1914) before he went the way of all flesh, and a coffin was needed for him.

I would like to tell future generations just where this old church stood.  It is going to be difficult to do so for not a single landmark is there except roads.  A public road runs through Paineville in an east-west direction, and in the village this road branches, forming the letter "Y".  One branch of this "Y" goes in a north-east direction on by the Union Church.  The other branch of this "Y" goes in a south-east direction, which is in the direction of Amelia Court House.  The old Paineville Church stood on the south side of the roads that formed this letter "Y" and just a little (about 75 feet) east of the point where the two branches of the "Y" join to form the stem.  It was about 70 feet from the road.  Both of the branches of this letter "Y" have washed and worn deep because both of these roads run downhill, one northeast {sic s/b north east} and the other southeast.

Note:  The road forming the northeast {sic s/b north east} branch of the letter "Y" was abandoned as a road about 1908.  A road was constructed to the north along the old abandoned Paineville "Race Track".

Odds and Ends

Railroad from Blacks and Whites (Blackstone) was completed to Petersburg in 1851.

Capt. Richard Irby established a foundry on his farm in Nottoway in 1855.  It was late moved to Union Academy which was a boys school located on the Brunswick Road.


{Page 43}

On March 22, 1742 Joseph Mays was appointed Indian Commissioner for the colony of Virginia.  The Mays family and the Vaughan family intermarried.

1737 Robert Vaughan surveyed a road from Wests Creek to Flatt Creek.

A bounty was paid for 36 wolf heads in 1737, and 23 wolf heads in 1738.

In 1738 two pounds of tobacco per head on tithables.  In 1739 twenty two pounds of tobacco per head on tithables.

In 1741 Mr. Burton was fined for not keeping the road in repair that ran from Stocks Creek to Sandy Creek.  Also stated this year that the bridle way from Robert Vaughan's to Court House to be kept open.  It is now a path.

"Multicaulis {sic} Mania".  A great many people in Amelia and adjoining counties planted multicaulis {sic} or mulberry trees in groves for silk worms to feed on.  It seems that this planting went on to such an extent that it developed into a mania.  This was a "get rich quick scheme."  The idea was to make a good living on just a few acres of land and with very little work.  So many people on the Atlantic Seaboard had these groves but did not know how to get the silk business started.  A convention was called to meet in Baltimore in December 1838 which was largely attended.  No way was found to start silk weaving to any considerable extent.  Then this dream of quick riches vanished.  Some multicaulis bushes were growing on the Charlie Davis farm about a mile south east of Paineville in 1912.

Lunenburg County was established in 1746.

Colonel Thomas Whitworth was a cotton mill owner at Petersburg in 1826.

William Whitworth lived in Richmond in 1859.

Raleigh Parish in Amelia and Dale Parish in Chesterfield were formed 1735????? {sic}

Petersburg and Blanford {sic s/b Blandford} were separate towns until they were united in 1784.  After they were united, the name was Petersburg.  Petersburg was a close rival of Richmond as a business and trading center up to about 1840 or later.

The English General Tarleton marches from Petersburg by Jennings Ordinary and Prince Edward Court House in 1781.  He must have gone by Amelia Court House also on this raid, because he burned the Court House and Daniel Jones' mill in 1781.

Jetersville was named for "Black Jack Jeter" (John Jeter) who was a son of Rodophil Jeter.

Nottoway Parish of Amelia became Nottoway County in 1788.

A celebrated murder trial took place in Nottoway in 1849, soon after Dandridge Eppes killed Adolphus Muir.


{Page 44}

Mr. Ely Cradock of Mannboro had many Indian relics in 1890.  These came from the Sweathouse Creek section of Amelia.

Jacob Seay of second regiment War of Revolution from Nottoway County later went to live in Washington County, Kentucky.  No date.

Joel and Willis Johnson of Amelia fought in War of Revolution about 1777.

Farrars Female School was at Deatonville about 1849.

Tilmon Jeter, near Amelia Springs, advertised for boarders in 1816.  His home was called "Hill Grove".

Thomas Watkins Ligon of Prince Edward County was Governor of Maryland in 1854.  I think he was a U.S. Senator from Maryland also.

Sterling Price, who became Governor of Missouri was from Prince Edward County.

Two Indian slaves, Buck and James, were bought by a man named Watkins in 1758, in Halifax County.

In 1746 the road was ordered cleared from Stocks Creek to Sandy Creek.

There was a brick store at Sugar Pond and at Union Church.  The church was built in 1838.

April 1738.  A Mr. Ormsby came from Bermudas where people were in distress for want of food.  The Governor recommends him to one of our newly erected parishes called Amelia.

Musgrave Dawson was minister of Raleigh Parish in Amelia in 1754.  He was a son of a William and Mary college professor.

The first steam engine in Nottoway County was bought by Colonel Knight in 1850.  The first reaping machine was used there in 1850.

Union Church was organized in 1832.  This is a Baptist Church, not the same as the one in Paineville.

Whitworths boarding school was operated by Thomas E. Whitworth for a few years up to 1861.

Sorgham {sic s/b Sorghum} molasses had not been made about Paineville for many years until about 1903.  Then two mills started to operate.

Washington Academy in the eastern part of Amelia was organized in March 1840.

Abraham Wood came to Virginia in 1620.

The following Amelia County men were "ensigns" in 1776:  John Walthall,


{Page 45}

Joshua Chaffin, Archer Johnson, Robert Vaughan, James Vaughan, Phillip Jones, and Edmund Booker.  Phillip Jones and Edmund Booker were captains.

John Perrin was in King William County in 1782.  Austin Seay, Sr. lived in Fluvanna County in 1776.

Jefferson College in Amelia was incorporated in December 1800.

Old Sapponey town was located on the north side of what is now the Appomattox River.  Dated 1720.

James Vaughan was a first Lieutenant of Amelia Militia in 1780.

Vaughans as follows:  Nicholas, James, Richard, John and Samuel lived in Nottoway from 1788 to 1816.

Seays as follows:  Gidean {? s/b Gideon ?}, Armistead, Cyrus, Dudley, and Jacob 1784 to 1823.

Spencer Perrin 1809, lived in Amelia.

Frank R. Stackton who was a well known author in the later years of the nineteenth century was connected by marriage with Dr. M. F. T. Evans and spent summer vacations in Paineville, just after the Civil War or later.

In 1671 the population of Virginia was 40,000 people.

Augusta County, Va.  Dated 1746, a hot died well dress {sic} 9 d. (18 cents probably) Lodging with clean sheets 3 d. (supposed to be six cents) Whiskey the gallon 6 shillings.

The name "California" appeared in a western Virginia record before 1763.

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

Woods Church built in 1707 is five miles from Petersburg in Chesterfield County, and is in use in 1945.

A fort was built at what is now Petersburg in 1645.

Many fourth of July celebrations were at Paineville.  Cannons were fired at some of these.  On one occasion the cannon exploded and two men were injured, one of them later died because of his injury.

1757 was a hard year with poor seasons and poor crops.

In 1740 John Roberts, a preacher, was proved to be a man of bad moral character, he being involved with a mulatto woman.

The population of Amelia in 1782, 5549 whites and 8748 blacks.


{Page 46}

A large settlement was started at Bermuda Hundred as early as 1611.

A very long pailing {sic} fence about four miles long was built from the Appomattuck to the James River.  This was at the forks of these two Rivers and enclosed hundreds of acres and was supposed to be some protection from Indians.

The church authorities asked that the Indians be sent to be catecised {sic s/b catechised} or taught.  The Indians did not go.

1720  Henry Tatum was paid 500 pounds of tobacco for setting the Psalms.

Prince George County was cut off from Charles City County in 1702.

A chappel {sic s/b chapel} was built in Bristol Parish in 1723 by Thomas Jetterson {sic} as contractor.

At a very early date the church had men appointed to count the tobacco plants on the various plantations.  Note:  No doubt this was a way of checking on the farmers to see that no taxes or levies were avoided.

1720 Mrs. Elizabeth Kennon operated the ferry for another year.

1734  North of Appomattox became Dale Parish.

1725  Chapel on upper side of Namozine Creek to be good substantial frame building 40 by 20 feet with good sills and underpinned with block or rock stone.  To be weatherboarded {sic s/b weather boarded} with good clapboard and covered with shingles.  Mr. Colwell built chapel on Sapponey in 1725.  Inside of these chapels to be common plain work sealed with half inch plank.  Seats, single benches except two upper pews and these to be double, backs on them, and with doors.  Sealed with half inch plank.  A common plain gallery.  Reading desk and communion table.  When these chapels on Sapponey and Namozine Creeks had been finished Major William Kennon was directed to provide them with Baptismal fonts, books and fitting ornaments.  In 1730 it was resolved to build a chapel between Smacks and Nibbs Creeks under the direction of Major R. Bolling and R. Munford.  I can find no record of this church ever being built.

Population of Bristol Parish in 1730 was 1641.  This population doubled in ten years.

Lay readers officiated when rector was absent.  These readers got a salary.

1734  Raleigh Parish was assessed twelve pounds tobacco per head to build Blandford Church.  This was refunded to Raleigh Parish organized in 1734.

In 1742 Bristol Parish was divided and made into Bath and Bristol.

Tithables who did not pay the church levies were served with distress warrants.


{Page 47}

In 1720 Thomas Andrews being ancient and crazy and not able to work is acquitted from paying parish levies.

In 1720 Mr. Thomas Bott having an orphan boy bound to him by the mother desires the same may be confirmed by this vestry.  The boy named Mark Melthon.  He was to serve from three to twenty-one years.

Major Abram Wood represent {sic ? s/b represented ?} Appomattuck County  in 1645.

Fort Henry was built in 1645 at the falls of the Appomattuck.  600 acres of land was given to Abram Wood to keep ten men in fort for three years to keep savages from fishing in the Appomattuck River.

In 1772 ninety thousand hogsheads of Virginia tobacco was shipped to Great Britain.  Petersburg was a very large shipping port for it.  Roads were few and poor then.  River boats carried much shipping.  Many boats operated on the Appomattox River and on the larger sized creeks.  It seems that  mill dams had to be built so as to allow boats to pass.  I have been informed that cargo boats operated on the Appomattox River up to about 1875.

Hundreds, or at least a great many of tobacco warehouses were all over southern Virginia.  Many were on the banks of streams.  Government inspectors were at these houses.  They issued inspectors receipts, which it seems were traded in and used as negotiable paper.  All warehouses had to pay taxes.

Some of the following notes were copied from a book entitled Bristol Parish.  This parish included all of what is now Amelia County, up to 1734.

Note:  A man was fined for travelling {sic} ten miles on Sunday.  Date 1750

Note:  A common schold (Prostitute probably) {SSS note:  I looked this up & think a common schold more likely refers to an abusive, nagging woman; see scold at www.dictionary.com - Middle English meanings, “a ribald abusive person” and “a shrewish chiding woman,”} to be ducked or plunged into water.  Date 1751.

A minister named Keith was forced to leave the parish and county after being guilty of fornication with a young gentlewoman.  It is further stated that she was not allowed to marry him.  Date 1734.


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.


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