November 27, 1998
To Society Members and Prospective members.
We welcome you to our December 1998 meeting of the Historical Society. It will be on Monday, December 14,1998 at the Surry Recreation Center at 7:00 P. M. As anounced earlier, we will have A VERY SPECIAL PROGRAM for this meeting.
Speaking on Smiths Fort will be Mr. Nicholas Luccketti, who conducted the 1981 archeological dig at the fort. Mr. Luccketti is presently Senior Archeologist in the exciting dig at Jamestown.
Smiths fort was built in 1608-09 by the settlers at Jamestown as a fallback position should they be attacked aand overrun at Jamestown. Both the Spanish and French had hopes of colonizing the east coast of North America.
The General History, Book 3, written in that era, states "We built also a fort for a retreat near a convenient river upon a high commanding hill, very hard to be assulted, and easy to be defended". John Smith's map of 1608 and later copies show the location of the fort. The Surry County riverfront from Hog Island to Four Mile Tree was part of the original settlement.
Remnants of the fort still exist. The fact that the fort was unmanned limited its artifacts, just as its not being occupied, farmed or developed has saved it through the centuries.
Thanks to the Department of Historic Resources in Richmond, Va, we also will have the artifacts found in the 1981 dig on display at our meeting, along with maps of the dig and site.
This is the first time that the archeologist and the artifacts have been available to the general public in Surry County. We are inviting members of the Thomas Rolfe chapter of the APVA and the
general public to be our guests - don't miss it.
Filing for Non-Profit Status: Our application to the IRS as a 501(c)  non profit corporation was approved as submitted. With this approval we are now qualified to recieve tax exempt gifts from individuals, foundations and corporations. Much effort and time was required in preparing our filing, but it paid off, it was accepted as submitted.
Membership passes 250! We have continued to grow, now having members from 20 states. Being settled so early, Surry County was, and still is, a gateway county. Descendants of our families have spread throughout the United States. Ultimately we should have members from all states.
E - Mail: Thanks to our member, Eve Gregory, we have a page on the world wide web. Our web page is https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vaschsm/ Eve Gregory's e-mail address is [email protected], but please remember that inquires will often have to be passed to other members and may take some time. It has been found an excelent way to pass the word about our society across the country.
We have an office! Yes, we now have an office at 84 Main Street, Surry, Va. It is in the old Town office,/ ex Ford Dealership, across the street from the Post office. We thank the town for making this space available to us at little cost. Its location is excellent, two doors from the courthouse. Its an empty office. We need every thing. We have a copier, thanks to the Virginia Geneological Society and a microfilm reader. We especially need a desk, chairs, book cases and filing cabinets. A computer is badly needed, but to be useful it should be modern enough to take Windows 95.
It's a start, now we can start collecting historical and geneological information for our archives. Many gifts have been promised, and we will soon be ready to recieve then.
Now comes the hard part! We will soon have to start manning our office, even if it is originally for very limited hours. Anyone who can help with this, please let us know. Its a must if we are to meet our goals and the publics expectations.
Rogers' Store remains one of our top Priorities. The land has been staked, and deeds, wills - etc. of the property have been colected back to the early 1800s. Not suprisingly, it appears that most if not all owners were kin to the others in one way or another. It will not be hard to take the property back to the original land patent of John Parsons on 5 June 1736, Patent Book 17, page 11 for 1375 acres. Parsons and Burgess owned it for most of the years before 1812. Then the Carsley and Smith families owned it until J. J. Gwaltney bought the property in 1855. John Parsons' Rolling Road, adjacent to the store, was the early path for taking hogsheads of tobacco to Cabin Point for sale.
The Dendron Historical Society remains very active. They had a big day on Labor Day - September 7, 1998. It was a day of labor. The good news was they had located two pairs of wheels and axles from The Surry Sussex and Southampton Railroad. The bad news was they were in the Assamoosic Swamp in Sussex County. They got them out, loaded them on a wrecker and brought them back to Dendron. They have also finally found someone who could cut large timbers of 34 feet length, needed to rebuild the old boxcar from the railroad. Found in Maryland, the timbers now are in Dendron, residing under the boxcar until they are installed, hopefully next spring.
We are getting more and more requests for information on the Surry County ancestors of our members living away from Surry County. Hopefully we will soon be in a position as a society to provide help and direction. Once we have our library and archives begun and some staffing we will be able to help.
Starting with this newsletter and meeting invitation we will
publish QUERIES, asking our members to pass on information and help to those seeking it. With the old saying, "everyone in Surry County is kin to everyone else" please give help when you can. Often any clue can be of tremendous help.
FELTON, JONES,JORDAN: Richard Felton, Gr.  Grandfather, Wife/ Sister/ Cousin Alice Felton. Apprenticed to Francis Jones in Bristol, Eng. Nov 1,1662. 50 Ac. land patent in 1678, Surry County, by headright of Lt. Col. Jordan , part of 1900 ac. of Headright. Reply to Mr. James F. Lyons, 830 Ridenbaugh, Boise, Idaho 83702
HALL, James- Instance- Isiac and Lewis. Surry, Charles City and Prince George Counties. Reply to Marilee Butler, P. O. box 95, Calvary Ga. 31729. [email protected]