General Lafayette Returned to Virginia in 1824The memory of General Marquis de Lafayette arriving in the Yorktown harbor to ensure the American victory still resides in the hearts of Americans. His fight at Yorktown was the beginning of freedom for the American colonies, but earlier on Lafayette had also fought in the crucial Battle of Brandywine in Pennsylvania. Afterward the war, he returned to his home in France and forty years passed. He was in France pursuing a political career which championed the American ideals of Liberty. While the Bourbon constitutional monarchy had been in place in France for at least ten years, during the spring of 1824, King Louis XVIII was wheelchair-bound and suffered from severe health issues which would prove fatal by late summer. So, during that year, the last surviving French General decided to make a tour of the then twenty-four American States and to make as many stops as possible. He left France on the American merchant vessel Cadmus on July 13th. The tour commenced on August 15, 1824 upon his arrival in Staten Island, New York. It was the welcome of a hero everywhere that he went. He was accompanied by his son, Georges Washington de La Fayette and spent most of the journey on stagecoach, horseback, canal barge and steamboat. And finally, he arrived in Richmond, Virginia in October to a celebration held in his honor at the old Richmond City Hall.
How the Revolutionary War Affected Those at HomeAt the beginning of the Revolutionary War, Valentine West had a small farm in Chesterfield County, however died in 1776, four months before the crafting of the Declaration of Independence. His last will and testament only provided that some barrels of corn be given to his sisters. Another planteer, Creed Haskins, who had come to Chesterfield from Brunswick County was operating a plantation of some 390 acres of land, and died in the midst of the war (1781).
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Finding Yesterday with Topocal MapsAs the countryside gets scraped off, built upon and altered in so many different ways, we lose sight of its appearance in yester years. For this reason, topographical maps are useful in locating old cemeteries, wells, homesteads, railroads and the like. So what is a topographical map? It is a modern charting of the terrain in any given area, characterized by large-scale detail and quantitative representation of relief and reveals both natural and man-made features. I have used these maps while searching for old home steads and cemeteries. They are quite definitive in locating details such as old farm paths and roads, and the sites where buildings or houses once stood. An excellent finding aid is the descriptions of land lots, creeks, rivers, etc. found in the deeds of the ancestors. Remembering that lakes and rivers were used for navigation, the location of old river beds, rotting dock posts protruding out of the soil and other visuals of a wharf may be central to understanding the positioning of the home stead and its out buildings. Also, the thick weeds in old fields may reveal evidence of plowed rows crops, sunken wells, out-houses, etc., all of which helps to define the period during which our ancestors lived. One never knows what he is to find, until he looks! Virginia Topocal Maps
Think of your Ancestors in this Setting- If you have visited the old plantations located along the James River, it is easy to visualize the historical navigation of goods to and from London. Look around. The preservation of the oldest homes include green houses cut deep into the ground where planters grew cuttings of English boxwood and other flowers and plants. Among the occupations of the first settlers were brick masons, glass blowers, candle makers, silversmiths, etc. They copied the architectual styles and tastes of their countrymen. Each plantation had its wharf for loading and unloading. Sometimes, there was a little storage house built nearby where crops like cotton and rice awaited transport. Rivers have always been essential to navigation for vessels of all shapes and sizes. From the early 1600s in Virginia, carpenters built useful vessels to be used on the rivers, ranging from flat boats to sloops. The Atlantic, Chesapeake and the major rivers in the Commonweath played a major role of imports and exports from Europe and the West Indies. The New England areas expanded rapidly because of its ports, and many of the first settlements in Virginia can be attributed to the James River. A useful practice for genealogists is to pinpoint the various ports of entry along the Atlantic seaboard and visualize where the ancestors might have first set their feet upon American soil!
Old Cars, and ThingsThis generation thinks of the old automobiles of the past as glamorous and classy. I remember when the "40 Ford" was quite popular for its easy finesse around town. It did not have the "shiny classic car look" of today. In other words, during the days of actual use, it was simply a loud, smelly, dusty vehicle which bore the brunt of wind, rain and dust. One had to be properly addressed for the occasion. The glamorization part seems to occur after a society suffers through an age of invention and industrialization and passes on its upgrades to future generations. Yet the old farms, mules, chicken coups of our ancestors is a reminder that they prepared the way, for us.
Do the Magic Centipede
Chesterfield County Genealogy, Wills, Marriage Bonds, Indexes to Probate RecordsChesterfield County was formed in 1748 from part of Henrico County.Early settlers: John Archer, Stephen Cheatham, Richard Baugh, Abraham Bowman, Benjamin Granger, Creed Haskins, Caleb Davis, Burrell Parkinson, David Watkins, Daniel Gill Sr., Elick Moore, Essey Worsham, Francis Dyson, William Vaden, John Dier Sr., John Frailey, James Ferguson, Henry Walthall, Henry Turpin, Gregory Grant, Gilbert Elam, George Hastings and Francis Mean, Hamblin Cole, Joseph Bills, Ambrose Cobbs of the Cobbs of America family, and more.
Wills and Other Records Available to Members of Virginia Pioneers
Indexes to Probate Records
- Index to Wills 1774 to 1785.
- Index to Wills 1785 to 1800.
Digital Images of Wills 1774 to 1785Testators: Adkins, William;Amonett, John;Anderson, John;Archer, John;Atkinson, James;Baker, Sarah;Bass, Joseph;Batte, Richard; Baugh, James;Baugh, John;Baugh, Peter;Beaseley, Benjamin;Beech, John James;Black, William;Bowles, James;Bowman, Abraham;Bowman, John Sr.;Branch, Olive;Branch, Thomas;Cary, Hannah;Chappell, Abraham;Charolton, Christopher;Cheatham, Stephen;Christian, Turner;Cobbs, Ambrose;Cogbill, Thomas;Cole, Hamblin Sr.;Cole, Robert;Cosby, John;Cox, Henry;Crisp, John;Dance, Thomas;Davis, Caleb;Dier, John Sr.;Dyson, Francis;Edwards, Thomas;Elam, Gilbert;Elam, MarthaElam, Robert Sr.;Ellys, Thomas;Farmer, Elam; Farmer, Thomas;Ferguson, James;Ferguson, Martha;Frailey, John; Francis, Robert;Franklin, James;Franklin, Thomas;Franklyn, Archibald;Featherstone, Charles;Gates, James;Gates, James (2); Gibbs, Mary;Gill, Daniel;Gill, Daniel Sr.;Gills, Joseph;Granger, Benjamin;Grant, Gregory;Graves, William;Harrison, Sarah;Haskins, Creed;Hastings, George;Herbert, Whiddon;Hill, Edward;Jackson, Richard;Johnston, Edward;Keys, Michael;Kennon, Robert;Lacy, Nathaniel;Lassun, Alexander;Lassun, Elias;Ligon, Judith;Linn, George;Mann, Daniel;Martin, John;Martin, Mary;Mean, Francis; Miles, James;Minggo, John;Monifett, John;Moore, Elick;Moore, John;Moore, Thomas;Moore, William;Moseley, William;Nevins, Samuel;Osborne, Edward;Osborne, Edward (2);Osborne, Thomas; Parkinson, Burrell;Pride, Thomas;Randolph, Elizabeth;Roberts, Morris;Robertson, George;Robertson, George (2);Rowlett, John; Rowlett, Mary;Rowlett, Thomas;Rucks, William;Saddler, Thomas; Scott, Walter Sr.;Short, Samuel;Smith, Martin;Smith, Obediah;Stiles, John;Stratton, Thomas;Stuart, Sarah;Todd, Betty; Towler, John;Trabur, John James;Traylor, Elizabeth;Traylor, John; Traylor, Joseph;Turner, William;Turpin, Henry;Vaden, William; Valeneiu, Valentine;Vest, John;Vinton, Mardune;Walker, Francis; Walthall, Francis;Walthall, Henry;Walthall, Henry (2);Walthall, Thomas;Ward, Benjamin;Ward, Leonard;Ward, Seth;Washam, John; Watkins, Benjamin;Watkins, David;Watkins, Joseph;West, Valentine; West, William;Wilkinson, Joseph;Williamson, George;Wilson, William;Winfrey, Mary;Wisham, John;Wooldridge, John;Worsham, Essey;Worsham, Rosamond
Digital Images of Wills 1785 to 1800Testators: Archer, Elizabeth;Archer, Mary;Ashurst, Francis;Baugh, Peter Sr.; Baugh, Richard;Belcher, Thomas;Berry, David;Bowman, John; Branch, Benjamin;Branch, Edward;Branch, Matthew;Branch, Samuel;Burton, Hardin;Burton, Thomas;Cary, Archibald;Cary, Nathaniel;Cashon, James;Cheatham, Francis;Cheatham, Josiah; Cheatham, William Sr.;Cogbill, Charles;Cogbill, George;Cox, Judith;Edwards, Ann;Elam, Daniel;Elam, Robert;Farmer, Dorothy; Farmer, Mary;Farmer, Phebe;Fleming, Charles;Folkes, Edward; Gibson, Miles;Giles, Nicholas;Gill, Thomas;Goode, John;Goodwyn, Collins;Granger, Ann;Graves, Michael;Graves, William;Hall, David; Hall, John Jr.;Harden, William;Hatcher, Nathaniel;Hatcher, Samuel;Hill, John;Hudson, John;Jackson, Isaiah;Johnston, Andrew; Kibbon, John;Leigh, William;Mann, Obedience;May, John;Moore, Eleazer;Moseley, Matthew;Norris, James;Nunnally, Henry;Osborne, Thomas;Pankey, Stephen;Perkinson, John;Robertson, Lodowick; Royall, Joseph;Spears, Mary;Thomas, Elizabeth;Trabert, William; Turpin, Philip;Vaden, Daniel;Walthall, Jeremiah;Walthall, illiam; Walthall, William (2);West, George;Williamson, Richard;Winfree, Henry;Winfree, Valentine;Womack, Thomas;Worsham, William
Traced genealogies and family histories of Chesterfield County available to Members !