William B. Jones deposition about Revolutionary War in Mecklenburg, VA

This is the second deposition of my ancestor William B. Jones for John Carroll. I love this deposition for several reasons: He talks about growing up in the same “neighborhood” as John Carroll, going to the same school as John Carroll, and that his brother John Jones was serving with John Carroll. William vividly remembers his brother John Jones and John Carroll were soldiers in the Revolutionary War because of an event that happened while he was helping bring horses to them at their headquarters at Taylor’s Ferry on the Roanoke river. A gang of men tried to steal their horses. William said he would never forget that when the men surrounded them on the Allen’s Creek bridge over the Roanoke, his horse got spooked. The men had taken up planks in the middle of the bridge, but his horse leaped over the large gap, causing both William and his horse to escape from the gang. I don’t know the year of the event. But William would have only been a young boy, possible a young teenager. Based on the age given in this deposition and the 1850 Census, William would have been nine years old in 1776.

I’m curious what school William Jones and John Carroll went to. I wonder if they boarded at a school in a private home, or if they visited an actual school each day. I also wonder what area William considered his neighborhood. As an adult he lived just north of Nellie Jones Rd, a rural farming area in present day Bracey, VA.

Taylors Ferry info from Reg Cook: Taylors Ferry is due south of and presently accessed from Boydton, across Jefferson St. extended, at the old Randolph Macon College. Historical Marker is on new Rt. 58, just North. Believe Ferry date was ca. 1746, There was a Tri County “Powder Magazine” at “Banks Old Store”

Taylor’s Ferry historical marker : http://photos.historical-markers.org/Virginia/Mecklenburg-County/VA-UL5-Taylor-s-Ferry

Note: This William B. Jones was son of William Jones, and father of Zachariah and James B. Jones, of the Great Creek area.

(Above) Horse story, part of the images and my typed transcription for download (PDF) here:

See William’s first deposition, a year earlier

Mecklenburg, VA: War of 1812 Militia

Researching records from the War of 1812, I have found three militia units with men from Mecklenburg County, all in the 1st Virginia militia, under Colonel Byrne. Militia men typically served for three months during the war of 1812. I’ll be posting information about various men from Mecklenburg who served in these three militia units soon.

The captains of the three units were:

  1. Captain William H. Cousins: 28 August to 30 Nov 1814.
  2. Captain William Grigg: 29 August to 4 December 1814.
  3. Captain John J. Moore: 31 August to 30 Nov 1814.

The more that I study the men in these three units, the more I see neighbors, friends, and their families who married each other. My ancestors who served in the war did not file for pensions. So, I learned more about my ancestors by reading the pension records of other men in the unit. War of 1812 Pension records gave proof of marriage, with deposed witnesses stating they attended the wedding or other information they knew about the veteran. All three of the Mecklenburg militia groups guarded the Virginia waterways, particularly: the Potomac River, the Chesapeake Bay, and the waterways in Norfolk.

Captain John J. Moore led one of the militia groups from Mecklenburg, Virginia. Averett King’s pension record says the men in this group signed up in Lombardy Grove. The payroll heading says “Pay Roll of a company of Virginia Militia, commanded by Capt. John J. Moore, of the First Regiment, in the Service of the United States, from the 31st August to the 30th November 1814, both days inclusive, under the command of James Byrne, Colonel Commandant.”

Not all of the men in the unit show up on all the payroll lists. For example, my ancestor Newman Dortch served in Captain Moore’s company. Newman shows up on a payroll list, but another man who served in the company, Averett King, does not. Yet several other men on the payroll list at the Library of Virginia, witness that Averett was in their company. I have found more men on Fold3, and in land bounty records than on some of the original payroll lists from these Mecklenburg units. This information will gradually be added to the military section of this site, under genealogical resources.

Newman Dortch does not have a pension record, but he does have a military record at the National Archives. The pages below the map are his entire file. He was at Powell’s Creek, which is in Prince William County, Virginia, where Powell’s Creek and Potomac meet.

This record, in summary, is Newman Dortch granting his Captain power of attorney to collect pay for him. It states that Newman was a Quarter Master, that they were at Powell’s Creek and that he was living in Mecklenburg. Presley Hinton signed this record for the county. His title was covered up but could be a Justice of the Peace or a clerk.

For more information about Virginia and the War of 1812:

  1. FamilySearch: https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Virginia_in_the_War_of_1812
  2. Virginia War of 1812 society: https://1812va.org/significant-war-of-1812-events-in-virginia/
  3. Library of Virginia: https://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/guides/opac/1812about.htm

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, 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

See William’s second deposition, a year later. Including his horse story adventure.

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.