Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Withers Farm in Stafford County, VA

As we build our own community on the land known as Celebrate Virginia North, formerly part of the England Farm, and the Civil War Northern Army Mud March, we researched another family who inhabited this land.

The genealogists that we are we couldn’t help but notice the two stone cemetery set off among the new homes.  The corner lot is preserved in honor of the Withers family.  The Withers family had a farm of over 3200 acres. The farmhouse still existed when the property was purchased by developers.  We were curious about our cemetery neighbors and my hubby set out to research this family. He wrote an article for our community newsletter with his findings. That article was titled, Wither Art Thou?

Mary De Jarnette Withers, wife of Edward has the oldest stone. Mary and Edward had eight children before she died at the age of 37. Edward then married Mary’s sister, Sophie and they had another eight children.  My husband concluded, “He, obviously, didn’t ‘wither away.’”

The second stone in the cemetery is that of Charles Withers who died in 1818 at the age of 57. Charles, unmarried, was a brother to Edward.

Charles and Edward are two of nine children born to James and Susan Waller Withers.  In 1793 James Withers was reported to hold the office of Tobacco Inspector for Stafford County.  Consequently the Withers was a prominent family in the area.

Anita Dodd of the Stafford County Cemetery Committee thinks there are additional graves in the plot, though no more stones have been found. Not to worry though. The small cemetery is property maintained and protected by black wrought iron fence. The Withers family presence on this land is remembered and honored. We will do our best to continue good stewardship. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

James Monroe High School (Bronx, NY) Class of 1937 Committee Chairmen

I was browsing through my blog page views this morning and noticed a large number for the James Monroe High School Swim Team. Looking through my dad's copy of the 1937 Monrovian I noted there are not many group photos; none of the sports teams. Maybe that is why the picture of the swim team garnered so much interest. 

From 1937 Monrovian yearbook

There are a few photos of "Activities" and this is a picture of the "Committee Chairmen." What their duties entailed is a mystery. Maybe someone out there can clarity. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Seine Pocket Farm

Revolutionary War soldier John England b: abt 1755 served as a private in the Virginia Colony Army under Captain Mason Pilcher and Colonel William Garrand.  Mr. England was a farmer, locating in Stafford County from Bucks County, PA.  His farm was located along the Rappahannock River and named Seine Pocket Farm for the river’s rock formations that trapped fish as the tides changed.

Mr. England at age 95 in 1850 lived with his son Patrick H. England, wife, Emma, and their five children in Stafford County.  I am still looking for his burial.

In 1990, Mr. England’s descendant, Anne Brooks, wrote a short bio of her Revolutionary War ancestor from which this write-up was taken. In the two page bio she states: “To this date of July 1990, there have been no families other than Englands living on the property since John England owned it. Seine Pocket was sold out of the England-Brooks family in the late 1940s. The farm now overgrown and sitting in the path of developers would be a terrible loss to the local people.”

My interest in John England is because I believe his farm is just a short walk from our new home in the dreaded new development that Anne refers to.  If further research proves the England farm was so near, then it is only right that we do something, like placing a marker at the site to honor the homestead of John England.

Thanks, Anne, for your family history.  

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Kate and Carl Preiss

Kate Nunn was born 21 December 1893, the fifth child of Joseph and Catherina Kurtz Nunn. The family lived at 2030 First Avenue in New York City.   Kate was 6-1/2 when the city’s Outdoor Poor arrived to take her and her siblings upstate to St. Joseph’s Home in Peekskill, New York.  The home was paid $2.00 a week for her keep.

I have it on good authority that Kate married Carl Preiss. I don’t know when.  I also learned that Kate died at a young age in childbirth, or possibly a miscarriage.  Kate and Carl lived in the Bronx.

So far I have been unable to find this couple on a census or any other database.  I would love to connect with any Preiss family that might have further information on this couple.