March 2001 Newsletter, Surry County, Virginia, Historical Society and Museums, Inc. Surry County Virginia Historical Society and Museums, Inc.
Surry County, Virginia, Historical Society and Museums, Inc.
P. O. Box 262, Surry, VA 23883   Phone (757) 294-0404
E-mail address: [email protected].
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Volume 4, Number 1 - March 2001

James Atkins, Editor

To: Society Members and Friends

The March 2001 meeting of the Society will be held on March 12, 2001, at the Surry Recreation Center at 7:00 P. M.

Report on the December meeting. This was the first showing of Lorena Leath's slides, pictures and awards. The small group of these slides that were presented gave our members an exciting glimpse of the complete collection of thousands. We hope to have pictures from the most popular slides available for sale by 2002.

Our speaker for the March Meeting will be David C. Hart of Detroit, Michigan. His grandfather, John C. Hart, was a mulatto born in 1846 and raised in Surry County. He learned to read and write at a very young age. Freed after court cases in Surry County in May 1857, he was apprenticed to William P. Underwood, clerk of Surry Court. He fled to Jamestown Island and joined the Union Navy on the USS Aroostook in August 1862. I will let David C. Hart tell the story. Let's just say that John Cornelius Hart kept a diary throughout the Civil War. The story of his service, including Surry County, is also being shown as part of an ABC Nightline TV show. They sent a film crew to Surry County to shoot footage for the show. Do not miss this program!

The Higgins / Rogers Family reunion met at the Surry Recreation Center on February 24, 2001. Members Barbara Moore, James E. Atkins and Dennis Hudgins hosted a tour of Dendron, The William Rogers home and cemetery, Rogers Store, the Watt Rogers Home and Carsley Methodist Church.. All of the Rogers side of their families were descendants of Watt Rogers. Attendance was over sixty. It was an enjoyable day, and the Society appreciates those who joined, or plan to join the Society.

Another very significant gift! Announced in a special letter dated January 12, 2001, the Society has received the title to two and one half acres of land in Surry for our future permanent office and tourism center from Mr. and Mrs. B. A. Seward. Their generous gift provides the land that allows us to begin long range planning of the needs of the Society and Surry County.

We are moving. The Society's new address is: 16 Academy Street, located directly behind the Surry Courthouse. It is the brick one story building that has been used as a jail and various offices over the years. We have three rooms, which nearly triples our space. The building is very solid and dry, which will help us better protect our records. There are small signs in the windows, and we hope to have a sign on Rt. 10 - 31. The phone number and P. O. Box number should remain the same.

We appreciate the Surry County Board of Supervisors approval of our use of these facilities. They have also agreed to let us use some furniture that is in the building. We also are very grateful to the Town of Surry for the use of our original office at 84 Main Street. This allowed us to have a home soon after the Society was established.

The Surry County, Virginia 350th Anniversary Committee is busily making plans for our 2002 Birthday celebration. The Society's meetings during 2002 will also spotlight our 350 years as a county. We ask all members to support and offer your help in making this a great celebration. To be successful, events such as this requires much inspiration and perspiration. Notify Janet Appel or P. J. Watson Jr., Co. Chairs if you can help. You can see their newsletters on their web site,

Plans are progressing to clean up the county and have special signs commemorating the celebration at strategic points around the county.

A special logo for this celebration has been designed, thanks to a graphic artist from Virginia Power.

Events are now being penciled in, and preliminary plans indicate that we will have quite a number of events. As these are solidified, they will be reported in our newsletters.

Included in these plans is a Surry to Surrey tour being planned. A tour director has been contacted and is preparing a proposal. We expect it to be in the fall of 2002, lasting a week or a little more, and to be a fairly easy paced tour. If possible, the group will stay at one place in Surrey County, England, with day tours to the important sites. The goal is to hold the cost down to around $2,500.00 or less per person. By our next newsletter we should have more details and will ask for some indication from those interested in participating in the tour. SAVE YOUR MONEY!


1940 was a very good year, if you lived in Carsley, Virginia. That was when this community got electricity. The Prince George Electric Cooperative brought lines to Carsley that summer. E. Earl Reibsamen was the local electrician who wired most of the homes in the area. We thank his widow and Society member Frances Reibsamen for this information, and a copy of his ledger. Herbert Rogers, who ran Rogers' Store, had Reibsamen wire his small bungalow. With 15 outlets, and 8 fixtures, the cost was $59.00. Rogers' Store did not get electricity until June 29, 1942. The cost of wiring it was $76.33.

The Atkins home was wired by April 19,1940 for $108.79, including 17 light bulbs from 25 to 40 watts every where except the kitchen, which got a 75 watt bulb. In May, some additional work was done for $25.65. Dad bought a GE radio for $25.16, and used it until you could not get tubes for it. A GE refrigerator cost $144.16. I still have it, working perfectly, and it will end up at Rogers' Store. I remember Mother made chocolate ice cream in it the first night we had electricity.

Other work Earl Reibsamen did in 1940 was wiring for the refrigeration plant for Wallace Edwards for $127.92, and work for G. C. Berryman including wiring for a range.

If memory serves me, electricity was first provided by three mobile generators at Disputana, Va., and was only available during certain hours of the day. JEA

by James E. Atkins

Walking through the woods of Surry County, Va. for more years than I like to admit, I have seen many things that I could not understand. Some were easily explained by elder citizens who had lived their lives in the community. Others came slowly with much reading, walking and trying to think of all the possibilities.

There were the remains of dug wells with no other signs of habitation nearby. My elders knew that was the site of slave quarters at the How Trees, easily explainable. The site of old saw mills also had dug wells, clearly understood too, when they had steam powered "ground sawmills". They had to have water, even if they were there for only a short time.

There are the remains of Savedges' old timber railroad bed near Rt. 40, easily understood. It connected with the Atlantic and Danville Railroad that went from Claremont through Waverly. It ended at a small stream, elevated to the elevation of the hill it crossed to get to the stream. The other side of the stream showed no sign of a roadbed. Why? Finally it hit me. They had to get water often for the donkey steam engine. If the track had sloped to the branch, once stopped with a full load of logs, the engine would not have the power or traction to start up again. It had to be elevated to get close enough to the branch to fill itself with water and pull itself out.

Once I found a large dug hole on top of a hill, approximately 12 feet in diameter and 8 feet deep. There was a drainage ditch going downhill. This seemed like the old ice houses where the settlers stored ice. They would pack the ice underground with sawdust for insulation, and the ditch drained the water away. But it is a half mile from the mill pond and nearly as far from the known site of three home built in the 1700s and 1800s. Its location bothered me. After many years I figured it out. It was not an ice house. It was a pit for sawing lumber. The settlers used a saw like a crosscut saw, but longer with round handles at both ends for two handed operation by two men. They rolled the log over the pit. One man stood on top and pulled the saw up. The other stood in the pit and pulled it down. Most of the timber was sawn this way before the middle late 1800s when steam power became available. Hard Work! Likely our home, Shady Grove, built in 1848, used timber sawed in this pit.

I had never seen a pit saw until a visit last year to the Chatham Historic Dockyards & Museum, east of London on the Thames River in England. They have a man sized model of a pit saw. Two large wooden beams, about six feet apart straddled the pit. Several wooden rollers straddling the beans supported the log to be sawed. The log was chocked to hold it in place. As they sawed, they would unchock the log, roll it forward and rechock it.


Occasionally you may see a dug out place in the side of a hill that seems to have no meaning, no known structures nearby, no ruts or paths that could have needed filling. Check first to see if the cut contains good red clay. Is there a branch or well nearby? Is there a flat place nearby? If so you might have found the site of an old brick kiln.

One such kiln on a neighbor's farm would not have been noticed if an elderly native had not told me of its existence and approximate location. Scratch around in the flat places and see if there are shards of brick still there. If so, bingo! Its likely to have been a brick kiln.

The process was reasonably simple, repeated somewhere in most communities wherever good red clay was available. They dug out the clay and mixed in enough water to make a very stiff slurry. This slurry was then thrown in a wood mold generally the size of two bricks. A board would then be drawn across the open top to get rid of the excess clay. The mold would then be turned upside down and banged on a board to release the raw brick. The brick would then be dried in the sun. Incidentally, I have a mold I found in a shed on our farm.

After drying, the unburnt bricks would have been built into a beehive kiln, about two or three bricks thick. Perhaps some straw would have been placed between the layers to keep them from sticking together. A roaring fire would have been built inside and maintained until the bricks were fully fired.

The bricks closest to the fire became Burnt headers, those nearly black brick you see in walls. Next come the red bricks used in outside walls. From the outside of the kiln come the pink "salmon " bricks, not fired hard enough to withstand outside exposure, used on the inside of walls or inside partitions. Today you can still see the folds in the bricks where the slurry was thrown in the molds.

Old paths in the woods tell many stories. Scars are easily discernible alongside Route 10 as it meanders from Hopewell into Surry County. Particularly in the winter when leaves are down, you can see the large ruts caused by the wheels of wagons and carts in centuries of use. Where the path went down to streams you see the deepest ruts alongside today's road. Unpaved, cut by iron bound wheels, eroded by water, some are over 12 feet deep today. As they age, unused, the bottom becomes V shaped from further erosion.

Sometimes you see more than one rut. When they got too deep, the wagons just went around it, as we do when we drive around a mud-hole on farm and woods paths today.

The road from Laurel Springs to Cabin Point is one of Surry County's oldest and heaviest used in the early days of English settlement. Several miles from Cabin Point, across from and north of Montpelier Plantation, in the woods, there is a large deep rut that runs uphill and downhill for over a quarter mile, over ten feet deep in many places, paralleling the road today. Cabin Point was the only point that tobacco, grain and flour could be exported on the south side of the James River from Norfolk to Petersburg. Hogsheads of tobacco, cart and wagon loads of grain or flour came from Surry, Sussex, Southampton, Prince George, Dinwiddie and perhaps other counties for export. This was their superhighway.

Near many of the bridges of Surry County you see paths from the road going into the woods, heading into the swamps and creeks. Why? These paths have quite a tale to tell. Most of our bridges have been moved to new locations, for good reasons, over the years. Most or all were burned in the Civil War.

Blunts Bridge over the Blackwater Swamp on Rt. 40 has been moved at least twice. Around 1700 the first bridge was built downstream behind the house at Shingleton Plantation by one of the first settlers, then later was moved upstream of the present bridge. The present bridge was built in the middle of the last century. At the same time the bridge on Rt. 40 crossing the Otterdam swamp was moved downstream.

New Bridges over the Blackwater near Spring Hill millpond was named well before the Civil War, but its location was originally upstream a half mile or more. Remnants of the old bridge existed well into the last century. A plat of the old John N. Ramey farm shows where it was.

Johnson's Bridge, between Blunts Bridge and Cook's Bridge on the Blackwater showed on Gilmers Civil War Maps. It was abandoned early in the last century.

Decades ago Birch Island Bridge on Rt. 31 was replaced and the road straightened. The old roadway shows where the original bridges were, downstream from the one we use today. The old bridges were the site of a large skirmish in the Civil War in 1864. Nearby is the remains of the Surry, Sussex and Southampton Railroad crossing.

These and most other bridges in Surry County have been relocated as the population and needs changed. The Court house has been at four different locations. Each move required roads and bridges for the settlers to get to the courthouse. Many early records quoted the road to the courthouse, but went in different directions, depending upon where the courthouse was at the time.

Back of Shady Grove farm at Carsley, there is a large eroded gully going down to the headwaters of Johnshehawkin Swamp. For many years I thought it was just a natural gully. Then several years ago I visited the area during a drought, with little water in the swamp. Easily discernible were the remnants of John Parsons Rolling Road crossing the swamp. This first path from the Carsley area appears in records from the early 1700s. It took tobacco in hogsheads, rolled behind oxen, to Cabin Point.

Most grist mill dams also carried a path to serve customers on both sides of the millpond. They became our early bridges. The courts sometimes had to settle where the roads would go. Most settlers were pleased when a road went through their land. The path and fording place of John Parsons Rolling Road was abandoned after Miles Burgess built a dam, grist mill and a new path crossing Johnshehawkin Swamp in 1798. Both served their purpose, but are now abandoned.

Sometimes you find old rutted paths that seem to go nowhere. H. B. Holdsworth of Spring Grove and I were walking the woods close to the headwaters of Johnshehawken Swamp and there was a deeply rutted path going through an area of no known road or habitation. A few hundred yards short of the swamp it stopped. We saw nothing there. As we talked the question was asked, If I were a settler coming into this unsettled land, where would I want to build my home? We both looked at the crest of a hill close by. There we found brick shards, obviously the foundation of some home now long lost to the woods. Who built it? Would a study of our land records give us a clue? Maybe some day I will search for this forgotten settler.

Be somewhat skeptical of deep ruts going downhill from a modern road into the woods. One on Rt. 612 appears as a colonial path, deeply rutted as it goes into the woods. It ends at a nearby branch. I found it was a drainage ditch dug when the road was improved earlier the in the last century.

Near Claremont you will find the remnants of an old ditch in the woods. In farmed areas it has long ago disappeared. Its purpose is not so simple, by most standards. The Allen Family owned much land in the area, and even more outside of Surry County. Having more slaves than needed to farm his holdings, he decided a perimeter ditch would be more permanent than wooden fences. Thus he had his slaves dig a ditch around his plantation. Some small part of it survives today as Allen's ditch.

Sounds in the woods! Yes, I have heard some strange sounds in the woods, unknown but generally explainable.

My father and I were at our millpond after sundown when I was a youth, and he motioned me to silence. We heard a slow repeated noise from across the pond, whroomp, whroomp, whroomp. Dad had heard the noise before. It was the sound of mash being stirred in a wooden trough. Someone was preparing to make moonshine. We left, and sent word to the probable owner that we were going to have to call the sheriff. In a few days we got the word back that there was no still anywhere near our pond. We never heard the noise again.

At night we heard many explainable noises at the pond. Unseen birds landing with a big splash. Unseen birds wings beating the water as they took off. The splashes of beavers or otter playing. The huge splash as a beaver plopped up on the dam three feet from where I stood. I am not sure which of us was the most surprised. He dived back in and came up a hundred feet away, scolding me.

Occasionally near Johnshehawkin Swamp we would hear the scream of some unknown animal. Sometimes there would be answering screams. What were they? The source of these noises is still unknown.

In the woods one day I heard a long repeated noise that moved slowly some distance away from me, a somewhat mechanical noise, woosh - woosh - woosh, with a low droning sound. It slowly disappeared. Soon afterwards I saw my first helicopter and the answer to the noise.

As young kids, Earl Holdsworth, Eddie Claytor and I would go possum and coon hunting in the woods at night. Walking through the woods we continued to hear something in the distance. It sounded somewhat like a bird, and followed us wherever we went. Our flashlights showed us no source of the noise. We decided with youthful bravado to chase the sound. We would separate, circle it and then we would run to it. Wherever we ran, the noise, wheep - wheep - wheep would always be just out of sight. After a while, bravado gone, we decided it was time to go home, across the fields, not in the woods. We still do not know what it was.

Built into the side of the hill going down to a mill pond on Johnshehawkin Swamp is a round mound, approximately 20+ feet in diameter and 8 feet high. Earth has been excavated around the high side of the mound. The low side is natural drainage to the pond. It now has a large tree growing from its top. What is it?

It was a pine tar kiln. One of the settlers' source of income from exports to England was pine tar. It was used to caulk their wooden ships. Our primeval pine forest had never been cut. Trees lived their life, died and slowly decomposed, all except what we call pine lightwood. This resin filled wood would last for many decades before slowly decomposing. The forest was full of lightwood. The settlers soon found they could collect it, pile it up in a mound , and cover it with clay. There would be a vent at the top, and another on the low side for air and a clay or iron pipe to drain the resin as it boiled out of the wood. Fire coals would be dumped into the opening in the top, starting a roaring fire. After the fire was well started, they would partially close the opening in the bottom to limit the amount of oxygen to the fire. This allowed immense heat, but instead of burning most of the resin, it boiled it out, to be collected in wooden kegs under the pipe. Shipped to England, it provided income for the settlers. English chronicles show this same process.

The byproduct of this process is charcoal. Another mound some distance away has been dug out, providing charcoal for some local blacksmith. Local lore has it that this was where the local Confederates hid their hams from the Yankees during the Civil War. This is unlikely, for while the Yankees may not have been able to find them, wildlife would.


Across the millpond on a neighbor's land is another dam and abandoned pond within 25 feet of our pond. Smaller and higher by around six feet, it drains into our pond. Why was it built? Simple, if you think like a settler. When the water level got too low in the mill pond to grind corn or wheat you let the water out of the higher pond. This raised the water level so you could still grind grain for a while.

The woods close to the gristmill site are full of ornamental shrubs, Yucca plants, a mile in the woods. Why were they there? They are on the two acres that went with the mill pond. This is where the miller lived, raised a garden, some chickens and likely a few hogs. Apparently the miller's wife wanted a little class in her life in the woods. Yes, we found the dug well nearby. A surviving pear tree finally died around thirty years ago. Ninety some years after being abandoned, no other signs of their habitation survive.

As a youth I remember seeing long rows of hilled dirt deep in the woods. Large pines two feet in diameter sheltered these rows. It was inconceivable that this area had been farmed, and these had been hilled corn or tobacco rows. Now I know that most good farm land in Surry County has been farmed at one time or another, worn out and abandoned to the forest.

Tucked back in the woods we found small orderly rows of depressions. These were the unmarked graves of those who lived and died here, perhaps our ancestors, but still unknown. No money for stones, only the memories of those who survived, until there was no one left who remembered. Time and harvesting of trees has all but destroyed the little evidence left.

This concludes my tale of the woods. Many readers will have their tales. Remember, most or nearly all will have simple answers. To find them you must think like the settlers.

Please Share your tales of strange things in the woods with us. I would love to do a sequel to this article.


The Revolutionary War
by Dennis Hudgins

This year, the first year of the new millennium, also brings the 225th Anniversary of the founding of our Country. Southside Virginia played a big part in providing supplies for the troops in the revolution. In 1781, Surry County was criss-crossed by Lafayette, Wayne, Von Steuben, Simcoe and Cornwallis and their troop movements through Cabin Point, Ware neck, Cobham & Wall's Bridge according to James D. Kornwolf in his "GUIDE TO THE BUILDINGS OF SURRY AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION." Kornwolf also provided a list of some of the Surry veterans of the Revolution. We hope to compile as many of their service records from the National Archives & Virginia State Archives. Any family members who have the correspondence between Surry County and the late War Department, please provide us with a copy to keep in our family folders. Items such as pension requests, Bounty Land Warrants, veterans pensions & their widow's pensions are just a few of the many items available in various archives.

Kornwolf listed these Revolutionary War Veterans:

County Lt. William Allen Soldier James Sampson Clarke (died in service)
Soldier William Allen (died in service) Colonel Allen Cocke (died in service)
Captain William Bailey Major John Hartwell Cocke
2nd. Lt. Benjamin Barham Captain Samuel Cocke
2nd. Lt. Alexander Belsches Ensign Harewood Colcott
Captain James Belsches 1st. Lt. Stephen Collier
1st. Lt. Nathaniel Berryman Ensign William Collins
Captain William Blow Captain Henry Crafford
Lt. Col. William Browne 1st. Lt. James Davis
1st. Lt. William Brown Captain Ethelred Gray
Captain Anthony Dogge Jr Captain Nathaniel Harrison
Captain William Edwards Captain William Hart
2nd. Lt. William Evans 2nd. Lt. Sterling Hill
Soldier John Ealey (died in service) Ensign Lazarus Holloway
Lt. Jacob Faulcon Ensign Joseph Holt
Captain Nicholas Faulcon Ensign Robert Hunnicutt
Ensign Nathan Jones Colonel William Short
Ensign James Judkins 1st Lt. William Short
Ensign Samuel Judkins Major William Simmons
1st Lt. James Kee Capt. William Simmons
Captain John Lucas Captain William Slater
Soldier Samuel Moody (died in service) 2nd. Lt. Stephen Sorsby [Forsby?]
1st Lt. James Nicholson 1st Lt. William Spratley
Ensign Thomas Parker Soldier John Thorn (died in service)
1st Lt. John Pitt 2nd. Lt. Jesse Warren
Soldier Francis Price Ensign John Warring
2nd. Lt. Randolph Price 2nd. Lt. John Watkins
Soldier Samuel Price Ensign John Wesson
2nd. Lt. Benjamin Putney 2nd. Lt. Thomas White
Captain William Seward Soldier Lewis Williams (died in service)
Soldier Philip Savedge (died in service) Captain Josiah Wilson

Luther Porter Jackson, Ph.D., Professor of History, Virginia State College, Petersburg ,Virginia, provided us with the "VIRGINIA NEGRO SOLDIERS AND SEAMEN IN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR" and lists soldiers Jesse Kelly of Prince William County and Samuel Stewart of Surry County. A Prince William County petition to the General Assembly concerns Jesse Kelly being seized by the recruiting officers to serve in the war despite the fact that as an apprentice to one "Lewis Lee" his term of service had not expired at the time of the war.

Samuel Stewart was listed in the Surry County Commissioner of Revenue records of 1803: Male, Labourer, living with Sally Charity; and in 1813: Male, Laborer, living on Billy Buck's [Billy Buck alias Capt. William Gilchrist's] land with his wife Lucy Stewart a female Spinner. Lucy later received a widow's pension and Bounty Land for her late husband's service.

In Surry County loose papers we find this letter written to the clerk:

Dear Sir

The bearer of this JESSEE KELLY a free Man of colour has resided on this place for [twelve] years and served the last American [and] British War as a soldier in the Virginia Line. he finds that its necessary to have a Certificate from you of his freedom. to procure which is his intention in waiting upon you - I am Dear Sir Yr Verry humserv

THOMAS PETER Cabin Point 31st March 99

[verso] JACOB FAULCON Clk Surry Co Jesse Kelly was registered #38 in the Surry County Register of free Negroes. He was a free born -mulatto man of a bright complexion, 5'6" high, a little pitted of the small pox, pretty straight formed, has a bushy head of hair, registered this 11th day of April 1799 by the Clerk.

Jesse Kelly received Bounty Land in Ohio for his service in the revolution. Records in the National Archives in Washington D.C. show the warrant was turned-in by a Robert Roberts. Jesse Kelly's actual Ohio Bounty Land Certificate can be found at the Virginia Historical Society. The original handwritten grant [151/2" x 13%2"] was donated in 1983 and accessioned 5 March 1984 by the Virginia Historical Society on the Boulevard in Richmond, Virginia from Mrs. Margaret C. Silver of Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

No 8094

200 Acres

Martin Van Buren
President of the United States of America
to all to whom these Presents shall come

Greeting Know Ye, That in consideration of Military Service performed by Jesse Kelly a Soldier for the War to the United States in the Virginia Line on Continental Establishment, and in pursuance of An Act of the Congress of the United States passed on the 10th day of August in the year 1790, entitled "An Act to enable the Officers and Soldiers of the Virginia Line on Continental Establishment to obtain Titles to certain Lands lying Northwest of the River Ohio between the Little Miami and Sciota and other Acts of the said Congress amendatory of the said Act, There is granted by the United States unto Robert Roberts assignee of said Jesse Kelly a certain Tract of Land containing Two hundred Acres situate between the Little Miami and Sciota Rivers Northwest of the River Ohio as by Survey bearing date the twentieth day of February 1818 and bounded and described as follows Viz. Survey No 8094 of Two Hundred Acres of Land on a Military Warrant No 1915 issued for that quantity in favor of the said Jesse Kelly, On the Waters of Darbys Creek, Beginning at six White Oaks, Northwesterly corner to John Graham's survey No 8420, thence West seventy two poles to two White Oaks, corner to John Graham, Dun and Scruggs Survey No 8423, thence with their lines South eighty four West, thirty eight poles to a hickory and Black Oak in said line thence South three hundred poles, crossing a wet Prairie from ninety to one hundred and twenty poles and a branch at two hundred and forty eight poles to three Hickories and a White Oak, thence North eighty eight East one hundred and seven poles to two Hickories and a Black Oak, Southwesterly corner to Grahams survey No 8420 thence with his line North three hundred poles crossing a branch at one hundred and seventy eight poles to the beginning with the Appurtenances. To have and To hold the said Tract with the Appurtenances unto the said Robert Roberts and to his heirs and assigns forever In Witness Whereof the said Martin Van Buren President of the United States hath caused the seal of the General Land Office to be hereunto affixed and signed the same with his hand at the City of Washington the tenth day of April in the year of our Lord 1837 and the Independence of the United States of America the sixty first By the President Martin Van Buren By [signatures of] A. Van Buren [Abraham Van Buren for Martin Van Buren] Secry [and] Saml. D. King [Samuel Davidson King] Acting Recorder of the General Land Office ad interim

Recorded Vol. 14 Page 46

[verso] Recorders Office Franklin County Ohio

This Patent was received for record the 1st day

of Decr. 1838 and recorded 6th of the same

month in Book No. 19 pages 495 and 496

W. T. Martin Recr

Other records show that the following men all likely had ties to Surry County.

William Stewart a Colored man, free born about 1759 in Brunswick County Virginia according to his pension file. He enlisted in 1777 under Major Hardy Murphy in Northampton County North Carolina and marched to West Point and Valley Forge. After the war he returned to Northampton County and later moved with his family to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania where he had been living from 1814 until 19 May 1835 when he made his pension application. Nancy Scott, a Colored woman, who came to Pennsylvania with the Stewart family, testified on his behalf.

Thomas Stewart born about 1742 in Mecklenburg County Virginia, enlisted in Captain Dawson's Company in Lunenburg County under General Gibson. He was at Valley Forge and Guilford Court House. He and his wife Sarah were married by James Yancey of Granville County, North Carolina and they later can be found in Person County records.

Samuel Bell was born in Surry County Virginia in May 1749 and was living in Sampson County, North Carolina in February 1782 when he volunteered in Captain Coleman's Company under Major Griffith McRae and Colonel Lee. He marched to Wilmington, to Georgetown, and to Charleston, but was never in any engagement. After the war he lived in Sampson County until about 1807 when he moved to Robeson County.

Drury Walden, born about 1762, probably also had Surry County roots. He was a Revolutionary War pensioner having made his declaration in Northampton County Court to obtain a pension on 4 September 1832. He stated that he was living in Bute County in 1779 when called into service, served 3 tours as a musician and private, the last one in 1781. He marched to Augusta on his 1 st tour and on his 2nd tour made gun carriages for the cannon and canteens for the soldiers. He married Elizabeth Harris in Northampton County, North Carolina. William Hardee, Clergyman, testified that Drury "was for years a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." Charles R. Kee, executor of Drury's will testified that, ... no man; no, not Jas K. Polk himself, is of better moral character.


Housekeeping: We apologize to the few members whose newsletters erroneously indicated their dues were in arrears on the special letter mailed in January. With our office in Surry, and all officers living at different places, sometimes the information is late in getting on our records. We believe we have a handle on the problem, but please let us know if any remain.

The dates showing on members mailing labels are the dates that you should renew. For example 601 would show you should renew by June, 2001. Complementary copies to speakers, etc. do not have dates on them.

Please let us know at our office of any address changes, name changes or deaths of members. Because of our nonprofit mailing, we do not receive any undelivered newsletters back at our office and unless notified, may continue to make the same mistakes in mailings.

If calling our office and leaving a message, please speak slowly and clearly when giving your name and phone number. The office has received some calls which could not be understood.

Dates established for the remaining meetings for 2001 are May 14, September 10, and December 10, all at 7.00 P. M. at the Surry Recreation Center. Please check each newsletter for any changes in this schedule.


schoolbus Surry350
School Bus used at Savedge School early last century. Dendron and Surry had similar busses. Member Frances Reibsamen went to school on this one. Ernest Goodrich rode on a similar one. New Logo for the 350th Celebration

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