1907 Boydton Court Drama

A train bandit. Women thinking romantic thoughts about the bandit, or plans to rescue him. A detective on the trail, then the court room scene. Sounds like a movie plot right? But this courtroom scene happened in Boydton, about a train robbery in LaCrosse 113 years ago.

The Sheriff of Mecklenburg was Sheriff Beales. The detective was from the Baldwin Detective Agency. The bandit, was Percy Martin. I wasn’t able to find the conclusion of this story. But here is what the Baltimore Sun reported the following day after court, January 13th, 1907.

William B. Jones 1852 deposition

I haven’t found the pension records from the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812 for any of my ancestors. But, when I started looking at the pension records of other men in the community, I discovered my family gave a few depositions in those records, like this one. Until I found this deposition, the last record I had for William B. Jones was the 1850 Census. This William was married to Susannah Clark or Clack, and was the father of James B. Jones and Zachariah Jones. They lived in the area of present day Bracey, on the north side of Nellie Jones Rd.

William didn’t “sign his mark”, this is an affidavit with a seal, and the handwriting is different than the Justice of the Peace and Clerk. So I do believe this is William’s actual signature in 1852:

Here is my transcription of the deposition, followed by an image of the record.


State of Virginia

Mecklenburg County

This day William B. Jones of the County and State aforesaid aged Eighty five years personally appeared before me a justice of the peace and made oath to the following affidavit-that he was well acquainted with John Carroll of Mecklenburg County Virginia who was a soldier in the revolutionary war with Great Britain, that he enlisted in the said County and state and served for a long time in the war. I don’t know how long, but it was a considerable time- that the said John Carroll was lawfully married to Ann Crowder, both of whom are now dead- that Nancy Patterson formerly Nancy Carroll who is now about Seventy years of age and the wife of John Patterson of the County of Chatham in the State of North Carolina is a lawful Child of the said John Carroll and Ann his wife

Given under my hand this 2nd day of September 1852

William B. Jones

Mecklenburg County to wit

                This day William B. Jones subscribed and swore to the above affidavit. Given under my hand this 2nd day of September 1852.

W.T. Pennington J.P.

Virginia to wit               I Richard B. Baptist Clerk of the county court of Mecklenburg County and State aforesaid, do hereby certify that William T. Pennington who has signed his name to the above affidavit is and was at the time of signing the same an acting Justice of the peace duly commissioned & Qualified, In witness whereof I hereto set my hand and affixed the seal of the court at offices this 3rd September 1852

                                                                                                                   Richard B. Baptist

Rosenwald Carroll-Boyd School

1949 Carroll-Boyd School in Bracey. Picture from the Mecklenburg County School System files.

Bracey, Virginia has a Rosenwald School, which was known as The Carroll- Boyd School. This was an African American School which was part of the Mecklenburg County School System. The school had electricity with 3 classrooms, 3 coal heaters, 2 small cloak rooms, and a kitchen.

The Bracey History Project is looking for stories, memories or older pictures about this school. I first learned about Rosenwald Schools in the Bracey Community’s write up, which was in the fall 2019 Lake Life Lake Gaston. I asked members of the Bracey Community Project about Rosenwald. I think Rosenwald Schools have an interesting and important history. I’m really glad that there may be preservation efforts underway for the building and I welcome people’s stories about the school.

A huge thank you to Melissa Hartman and Willie Bennett for their help with this post. If you have any information about this school, or know someone who attended this school please comment below, or send me an email at: mecklenburgvagen@gmail.com


For more information about Rosenwald Schools:

1,040 graves moved

I was shocked to find a newspaper article about 1,040 graves from 28 different cemeteries being moved! And that was only the first permit and early phase of the project. Other cemeteries were moved after this article, including Mays Chapel where my ancestor Tennessee Dortch and her granddaughter Lucy Cliborne were buried. I wrote the Richmond Times Dispatch requesting permission to post their article about this, because it is still copyrighted. I have not heard back, so instead I will summarize and share a link.

Ninety-six percent of the graves were unidentified, most of them reported to be slaves. The problem was, that the families who had cared for the cemeteries and knew where family was buried had moved away. The cemeteries had been neglected for decades. Only seven burials had tombstones. These burials were re-located to several churches in the area including Mt. Auburn Church Cemetery near Drewery, North Carolina. I felt this information was huge! I had no idea so many cemeteries were moved.

Here’s the 1950 newspaper Article Clipping I did on Newspapers.com: https://www.newspapers.com/clip/56035942/1950-burial-relocation-cemeteries/

Anne Overcash sent me these pictures of Lucy Cliborne’s tombstone. We believe that Tennesse Glover (married to Alvin Dortch) was buried beside her grand daughter Lucy Cliborne, in an unmarked grave. Tennessee’s death certificate says she was buried in Mays Chapel, but there is no tombstone for her. Tennessee was visiting her daughter Hester and got the flu. It was during the 1918 flu pandemic, although it was Oct 1919. These burials were moved.

index & site updates

This week I’ve been working a lot on behind the scenes things, trying to make the site a bit more user friendly. And I didn’t get my story ready in time. I’m still very new at learning about websites. Hoping you find these latest things I’m learning and adding helpful. I also hope the new changes make it easier to find information about the people and area you are looking for. Please pardon my construction dust this week. I’ll be back next week with more pictures and stories.

New Index page released today:

There are currently about 140 surnames. If I know a woman’s maiden name and married name, I notate her husband. Then she shows up under her maiden name. And I copy that information to her married name page and underline her married name. If several people have the same name, I put in a note to try to help say who each person is, like this: