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Southall Documents, Manuscripts, Reports, etc.

THE TIMES DISPATCH

[No date, but there is an ad on the page for "removal notice on and after February 15, 1906]

GENEALOGICAL COLUMN

SOUTHALL FAMILY OF VIRGINIA

Southall -- 1730.

Replying to a request for the Southall family, the following is given:

If we search old records of the thirteenth century, we find the name Southall is derived from "South," or "Southern," as were also the other points of the compass, which represented in "North," and "Northern," "Easts," or "Estrys," "West," and "West-ly," many families. The first to bear the name in Virginia was Dacy or Darcy Southall, who emigrated from Ireland in 1720, and settled in Henrico county. His Christian name is found spelled by various authors in many ways, such as Dacy, Dasey, Dacie and Darsy, but evidently all meant for the same person. In Henricos records of 1757 his place of residence is given as being between the mouth of Gillies Creek and Great Westham, on James River. He is mentioned by Bishop Meade as being a vestryman in the parish for the year 1756. One of his sons was Colonel Turner Southall, of the Revolution, and became most prominent in the annals of both church and State. He had also a son, Edward Southall, who lived in Spotsylvania county about 1728, and died there 1786. Turner Southall succeeded to the estate of his father in 1759, and was appointed a vestryman in the parish in 1770, in the place of John Randolph, deceased, and in 1772 was made one of the wardens at a vestry meeting held in Richmond town on the 8th of December of that year.

Colonel Turner Southall was also a member of both branches of the Virginia Assembly, successively, for several years previous to the Revolution, and held many offices of trust and profit in the colony.

In 1779 he was appointed as one of the committtees to remove the capital of the State from Williamsburg to Richmond, which was done in 1780. Colonel Turner Southall had several sons and daughters, from whom the descendants of the present day are traced. One of his grandsons was Major Stephen Southall, who married Martha Wood, daughter of Colonel Valentine Wood, of the Revolution, and was afterward clerk of Goochland county. Colonel Wood married Lucy Henry, sister of Patrick Henry, and of Elizabeth Henry, who married General William Campbell, the hero of King's Mountain. By the marriage of Major Stephen and Martha (Wood) Southall, were three sons, William Southall, who died unmarried; Dr. Philip T. Southall, the father of Professor S. O. Southall of the University of Virginia, and Valentine Wood Southall who was

[ . . . my copy cut off -- some text appears to be missing]

1813, when about twenty years of age, he came to Albemarle. He studied law and was early admitted to the bar, and rapidly rose in his profession. For more than twenty years he was Commonwealth's attorney for the county, and was considered one of the ablest prosecuting lawyers of his day. Mr. Southall became a most intense Jeffersonian Republican in politics, a great admirer of Mr. Jefferson, whom he frequently visited at Monticello, and from whom such close associations became his legal adviser. Such was Mr. Jefferson's confidence in his superior judgment that Mr. Southall was appointed by him as the first secretary of the Board of Visitors for the Central College, afterwards the University of Virginia. After this, Mr. Southall advocated the State's Rights party, which was opposed to Jackson, and which soon after became the Whig party. In 1833 Mr. Southall, with Thomas W. Gilmer, were sent to the Virginia House of Delegates, where he remained most of the time until 1845, becoming Speaker of the House in 1840, after Mr. Gilmer was made Governor of the State. In 1850 Mr. Southall was sent as a delegate to the Virginia Constitutional Convention from Albemarle, Nelson and Amherst, and in 1861 was sent to the Secessional Convention, called after the election of Mr. Lincoln to the presidency.

Mr. Southall was elected and sent as a Union man, opposed to secession, but after Lincoln's proclamation for troops to coerce the South, he voted for secession. He died suddenly while a member of the convention, August 22, 1861, and is buried as [sic] Charlottesville, Va.

The court and bar of Albermarle [sic], in 18{can't read}, honored the memory of its destinguished son, by hanging on the walls in the court-house, his life-size pastel portrait beside that of Jefferson, being a gift to the county and city by his children.

Mr. Southall married first, Mary, daughter of Alexandria [sic] Garret; second, Martha, daughter of James Powell Cocke, first of "Malvern Hill," and then of "edgemont," in Albermarle [sic], being a direct descendant of Richard Cocke, first of the name in the State, and member of the House of Burgesses in 1633. By his second wife, were:

William H. Southall, of Leigh, near Ivy Station.

James C. Southall, the eminent editor and author

S. V. Southall, prominent lawyer of Charlottesville

Lucy H. Southall, wife of Charles Sharp, of Norfolk, Va.

Mary M. Southall, wife of John Thompson Brown, colonel of First Virginia Artillery, in Lee's army; subsequently wife of Professor Charles S. Venable, of the University of Virginia, and member of General R. E. Lee's staff. Colonel Brown was killed May 6, 1864, in the Battle of the Wilderness.

Florence C. Southall, died unmarried.

All the sons of Mrs. R. V. W. Southall became prominent in their professions, filling conspicuous positions in the State. William H. Southall raised, as its captain, in July 1861, a six-gun battery, and commanded it the first year of the war, declining re-election.

James C. Southall, A. M., LL. D., second son, was born in Charlottesville, April 2, 1828. In 1846, he took A. M., at the University of Virginia, when only eighteen years of age. In 1847 he traveled in Europe and gave his first writing to the public in letters from abroad.

After studying law he was licensed to practice in 1849. In 1852 he gave up the law, and in 1858 made a second trip to Europe, after which he assumed the editorial chair by establishing the Charlottesville Review, and then, as editor of the Charlottesville Chronicle, which under his hand became a most trenchant paper. Dr. Southall was, like his father, a strong Union man, but, "as went Virginia, so went he," and his pen ever afterwards went for her defence.

In 1867 Dr. Southall was sent to the Constitutional Convention under the reconstruction of the State, as a conservative member from Albemarle, Louisa and Augusta, and there did signal service for his State. In 1868, he became chief editor of the Richmond Enquirer, which he conducted until 1874, after which time he devoted himself to scientific and doctrinal writings, issuing his great work, "The Recent Origin of Man," in 1875, which was followed in 1878 by "The Epoch of the Mammoth."

In 1880 he again undertook editorial work by conducting the Central Presbyterian, but in 1889, his health failing, he retired to his home, at Norfolk, Va., where he died September 13, 1897.

There was, perhaps, no more brilliant writer in the State than Dr. Southall. His style was faultless and elegant. Soon after his first work appeared he was made a member of the Victoria Institute, England, one of the most learned associations in the world, and an honor rarely bestowed upon foreigners.

In 1869 Dr. Southall married Miss Eliza Sharp, of Norfolk, Va. His only son, James P. C. Southall, is now Professor of Physics at Auburn University, Alabama, and partakes much of the literary talent of his eminent father.

The Hon. S. V. Southall, third son of Hon. V. W. Southall

[ . . . my copy cut off -- some text appears to be missing]

Lynchburg, Va., and the next year moved to Charlottesville and became his father's partner. In 1869 he represented the county in the Legislature of Virginia, and was chairman of the Committee of Courts in the House of Delegates, and has since been most active in all the political events of the State, and identified with the best interests of his county, and was for many years president of Miller Board at University of Virginia, also president for several years of Bank of Albemarle.

In 1866 Mr. Southall married Miss Emily Gordon Voss, of Rappahannock county, and had four children.

In 1861 Mr. Southall entered the Confederate army, and served through the war to the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, April 9, 1865. He was adjutant-general of artillery under Gen. A. L. Long, chief of artillery of Ewell's Corps during the last eighteen months of the war, surrendering with General Long's command at Appomattox.

In recent years Mr. Southall has retired from the practice of law, and devoted himself chiefly to literary pursuits.

The stately residence of Mr. Southall, on Park Street, Charlottesville, was originally built about 1848 by Miss Betsy Coles, being even then, quite a large brick edifice, which in 1865 became General Sheridan's headquarters while he occupied the town.

In 1875 Mr. Southall came into possession of the property, and in 1880 greatly added to the old building, making it one of the most handsome and improved places in the city.

The old Southall building, on Jefferson Street, now known as the "Venable House," was the home for many years of the widow of Mr. V. W. Southall until her death, in 1874, when it came into possession of her daughter, Mrs. Charles S. Venable, who has occupied it most of the time since when not rented.


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Photocopies of article submitted by Virginia Roberts. Online transcription from the photocopies by Susan Shields Sasek, 13 Mar 2002.  For this online transcription, items in [Brackets] are my notes. Items in {Curly Brackets} are items that either could not be read or I was not sure about the transcription.


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