WHRO (southeastern Virginia PBS) recently interviewed me for a short segment to open the first episode of this season’s “Finding Your Roots.” I spent the good part of a very hot day with the video crew and interviewer, filming in my home and backyard, at the Moore family cemetery, and in the record room of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Most of that video did not make it to the final, edited product. But the important parts did. Here is the result:
Our fathers lie beneath the land
That bore them into birth,
That buried with a heedless hand
Their bodies in the earth;
Who living labored long ago
As fortune did allow,
For children they would never know
Who do not know them now.
But still the land is burdened with
The memory of men,
Entangled by an ancient myth
That speaks to us again
Of distant generations who
Are dead and now forgot,
But waiting to reveal anew
The living they begot.
So now we sing our fathers’ song,
A poem of the past,
Because they could not sing it long
Or finish it at last.
Copyright © 2014. Donald W. Moore. All rights reserved.
May not be used or reproduced without permission.
This lecture was presented at the recent NGS Conference. The conference syllabus did not include a list of references mentioned during that session. These are listed below. Many of these references are reprints of older originals that may now be in the public domain and available free in digital format. Look for them in Google Books and the Internet Archive web site (archive.org)
Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, Volume Four: 1732–1741. Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Genealogical Society, 1994.
Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, Volume Five: 1741–1749. Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Genealogical Society, 1994.
Cavaliers and Pioneer: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, Volume Six: 1749–1762. Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Genealogical Society, 1998.
Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, Volume Seven: 1762–1776. Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Genealogical Society, 1999.
Cocke, Charles Francis. Parish Lines, Diocese of Southwestern Virginia. Richmond, Va: Virginia State Library, 1960.
Cocke, Charles Francis. Parish Lines, Diocese of Southern Virginia. Richmond, Va: Library of Virginia, 1979.
Coldham, Peter Wilson. The Bristol Registers of Servants Sent to Foreign Plantations, 1654-1686. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co, 1988.
Coldham, Peter W. The Complete Book of Emigrants: 1607-1660: A Comprehensive Listing Comp. From English Public Records of Those Who Took Ship to the Americas for Polit., Religious, and Economic Reasons ; Of Those Who Were Deported for Vagrancy, Roguery, or Non-conformity ; And of Those Who Were Sold to Labour in the New Colonies. Baltimore: Genealog. Publ. Co., 1988.
Gaidmore, Gerald P. A Guide to Church Records in the Library of Virginia. Richmond, VA: Library of Virginia, 2002.
Greer, George Cabell. Early Virginia Immigrants, 1623–1666. reprint: 1912 ed. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2004.
Hotten, John Camden. The Original Lists of Persons of Quality; Emigrants; Religious Exiles; Political Rebels; Serving Men … Apprentices; … And Others Who Went From Great Britain to the American Plantations 1600-1700 … From MSS Prepared in Her Majesty’s Public Record Office . London, 1874.
Hudgins, Dennis, and Genealogical Genealogical Virginia. Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants: Volume Eight, 1779-1782. Richmond Va.: Virginia Genealogical Society, 2005.
Nugent, Nell Marion. Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, Volume One: 1623-1666. Richmond: Virginia State Library and Archives, 1992.
Nugent, Nell Marion. Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants: Volume Two: 1666-1695. Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1977.
Nugent, Nell Marion. Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, Volume Three: 1695-1732 . Richmond, Virginia: Virginia State Library, 2004.
“Registers of 17th Century Indentured Servants” Virtual Jamestown, (http://www.virtualjamestown.org/indentures/search_indentures.html)
Stanard, W G. Some Emigrants to Virginia, Memoranda in Regard to Several Hundred Emigrants to Virginia During the Colonial Period Whose Parentage Is Shown or Former Residence Indicated by Authentic Records. Baltimore: Clearfield Company, Inc., 1998.
Torrence, Clayton. Virginia Wills and Administrations, 1632-1800; An Index of Wills Recorded in Local Courts of Virginia, 1632-1800, and of Administrations on Estates Shown by Inventories of the Estates of Intestates Recorded in Will (and Other) Books of Local Courts, 1632-1800. n.p.: n.p., 1930.
On January 8, 1887, the German clipper Elizabeth wrecked at Sandbridge beach between the Dam Neck Mills and Little Island Life Saving Stations. Crews from the two stations responded. However, the Elizabeth’s sailors all drowned when their lifeboat swamped, and five of the life saving crew drowned when their surf boat swamped. These men were Abel Belanga, his brother James, his brother-in-law Joseph Spratley, George Stone, and John Land. On January 8, 2014, a memorial service was held at Tabernacle United Methodist Church to honor them.
Please join me at the National Genealogical Society 2014 Family History Conference, “Virginia: The First Frontier,” to be held in Richmond, Virginia, from May 7–10. I will be presenting “Seventeenth Century Virginia Ancestors: A Research Case Study” on Saturday, May 10, at 2:30 pm. Please check the conference brochure for room assignment. Information about the conference—including brochure, registration, and hotel accommodations—can be found at http://conference/ngsgenealogy.org. Hope to see you there.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.
“Beginning at the new inlet of Little Creeke, and so up the said Creeke to the dams between Jacob Johnson and Richard Drout, and so out of the said dams up a branch, the head of which branch lyeth between the dwelling house of William Moseley, senr. and the new dwelling house of Edward Webb, and so to run from the head of the said branch on a direct line to the dams at the head of the Eastern branch of Elizabeth river, the which dams lie between James Kemp and Thomas Ivy, and so down the said branch to the mouth of a small branch or gutt that divides the land which Mr. John Porter now lives on, from the land he formerly lived on, and so up the said small branch according to the bounds of the said plantation where the said Porter now liveth, and from thence to the great swamp, that lyeth on the East side of John Showlands, and so along the said great swamp to the North river of Corotucke, and down the said North river to the mouth of Simpsons creeke, and so up the said creeke to the head thereof, and from thence by a south line to the bounds of Carolina, and that this devision shall be, and remaine the bounds between the said two counties, which shall hereafter be, and be held, deemed and taken as and for two intire and distinct counties, each of which shall have, use and enjoy all the liberties, priviledges and advantages of any other county of this colony to all intents and purposes whatsoever, and that the uppermost of the said two counties, in which Elizabeth river and the branches thereof are included, doe retain and be ever hereafter called and known by the name of Norfolk countie, and that the other of the said two counties be called and known by the name of Princess Ann County.” April 1691 session.
William Waller Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature in the Year 1619 ([Charlottesville: Published for the Jamestown Foundation of the Commonwealth of Virginia by the University Press of Virginia, 1969), 3:95.
“There is no recorded evidence of the creation of New Norfolk County. It was formed from that portion of Elizabeth City County south of the James River.”
Charles Francis Cocke, Parish Lines, Diocese of Southern Virginia (Richmond, Va: Library of Virginia, 1979), p. 106.
David Barnes was born in Princess Anne County, Virginia, on September 29, 1843, the second of seven children born to John Barnes and Catherine Bonney.
On March 1, 1862, when David was nineteen years old, he enlisted for the duration of the Civil War in Company G of the 16th Virginia Infantry at Tanners Creek Crossroads in what was then Norfolk County. Tanners Creek was the original name of the Lafayette River. Company G, also known as the Atlantic Guard, was a local company from Princess Anne County commanded by Capt. William E. Williams and Capt. John T. Woodhouse, later promoted to Major.
David’s muster rolls show that he was present for duty with the 16th Virginia for almost the entire war, except on two occasions. The first was on July 1, 1862, when he was wounded at Malvern Hill and sent to hospital in Richmond. The second was on February 23, 1863, when he was admitted to General Hospital No. 9 in Richmond.
The 16th Virginia was involved in almost every engagement of the Army of Northern Virginia beginning with the Seven Days in 1862 and ending with the Petersburg siege in 1864–65 and the retreat to Appomattox in April 1865. David was probably with the 16th for 2nd Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg in 1862; Chancellorsville and Gettysburg in 1863; and the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg in 1864.
In the summer of 1864, the Army of Northern Virginia lay entrenched around Petersburg, holding Grant from cutting the railroad lines and taking the city. To break the impasse, Union forces secretly dug tunnels under part of the Confederate lines and packed them with 8,000 pounds (four tons) of gunpowder. On July 30, the Federals lit the fuse. The explosion killed about 300 Confederate soldiers and created a crater roughly 170 feet long, 70 feet wide, and 30 feet deep. Union forces then attacked with a mortar and heavy artillery barrage, followed by an advance of 15,000 men—an entire army corps.
The 16th and other regiments of Mahone’s brigade were entrenched about three miles south of the Crater when they were ordered to counter attack. They formed a battle line 200 yards wide and twenty feet deep, fixed bayonets, and charged. The fighting was hand-to-hand and brutal. There is a scene in the movie “Cold Mountain” that graphically depicts the battle.
David Barnes not only survived the battle, but captured a Union Stars and Stripes during the fighting. For that achievement, he was added to the Confederate Roll of Honor.
The Army of Northern Virginia remained entrenched around Petersburg for the rest of 1864 and into the early months of 1865. On March 3, 1865, the 16th returned to the Petersburg defenses with the rest of Mahone’s division after confronting Union forces on the Boydton Plank Road. According to his military records, David deserted that same day. Perhaps he saw the handwriting on the wall. Only a month later, Lee evacuated Petersburg and began the last march of the Army of Northern Virginia to Appomattox. On March 18, two weeks after he deserted, David took the oath of allegiance and was transported to Norfolk.
David was about twenty-seven years old when he married my great-great grandmother Sarah Virginia “Jennie” Widgeon on February 28, 1870. He and Jennie lived on London Bridge Road. My mother believes the house was near the curve where the Lillian Vernon warehouse was located. London Bridge road at that time was straighter, probably continuing across Oceana Air Field from its back gate to the Lillian Vernon warehouse location.
David died on March 2, 1821 at the age of seventy-seven. His wife Jennie passed away in 1944 at the age of ninety-seven. My mother was twenty at the time and still remembers her quite well. David and Jennie were buried at London Bridge Baptist Church. When the Norfolk-Virginia Beach toll road (I-264 east) was built in the 1960s, the state took some of the cemetery property. Consequently, the Barnes family moved their graves to Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk in 1966.
Copyright © 2012 Donald W. Moore. All rights reserved. May not be used without written permission.