Carroll Cemetery, John B. Kidd estate

The above linked page is my write up of the Carroll Cemetery which is just off Nellie Jones Road in the Bracey area. This cemetery was part of John B. Kidd’s estate. There are no tombstones there, only field stones that mark the head and feet of the burials. I believe this cemetery dates to before 1830. The land was bought then divided between John B. Kidd’s children in very different acreage amounts. John B. Kidd is listed in the deed books as purchasing land five times. He bought land in two areas. The northern land ran partly along Hall Rd, much of which Miles Hall ended up purchasing from his wife Elizabeth Kidd’s siblings. The land south of Nellie Jones road was labeled on the estate plat as “the lower tract.” I added up all 5 purchases but there are discrepancies in numbers. John B Kidd’s estate shows a total (northern and southern lands) of about 320 more acres than I can account for him purchasing. My guess is that he inherited land in both areas.

I learned several things that interested me while trying to discover who owned the land before John B. Kidd. The first was that Samuel McKinney owned property bordering the Griffith estate property that John B. Kidd purchased in 1841. Samuel married Elizabeth Newman, the older sister of Martha Newman. This Martha Newman married James B. Jones and they are the ancestors of most of the Jones in the Great Creek area. I thought Samuel and Elizabeth McKinney lived in Brunswick County, so I was surprised to find them living by Great Creek.

I also found it surprising that the chancery case (to divide Arimenta’s estate) said that this land was known as “The Arimenta Glover tract of land.” This land was inherited from her father, John B. Kidd, and Arimenta had been married to Robert Carroll for 18 years. Arimenta’s first marriage was to Granderson Glover, my great…grandfather. (I’m a descendant of his first marriage in Tennessee.) She was only married to Granderson 10 years before he died, yet this was known as the Arimenta Glover land.

1928 South Hill Men’s Bible Class Picture

Elva Kidd White shared these two newspaper clippings with me. The first gives the year as 1928. The second dates the picture as 1920’s, but lists all the men’s name. Elva’s father is the one marked as “grandad Kidd”. For more information about Henry Kidd, see this previous post with his WWI military picture:

Here is a transcription of this 92 year old picture:

This picture of the South Hill Methodist Church Men’s Sunday School Class in the 1920’s was turned in by Miss Delphine Hatch. Left to right are:

First row: M. M. Carver, Henry Pettus, Clifford Shaw, Charlie Crowder, and Lee Matthews.

Second row: Bennie Walker, W. H. Butterworth, Aubrey Holmes, C. E. Carver, Willie Clark and W. E. Jolly.

Third row: Dr. H. C. Coleman, Joe Taylor, _____ Tanner, R. H. Clayton, C. N. Howerton, Jack Crews, Y. M. Hodges, Tom Allen, Fletcher Bobbitt, H. F. Ledbetter.

Fourth row: Lube Matthews, Frank Mason, Lawrence Crowder, Peyton Smith, Jimmy Radcliffe, Henry Kidd, Jessie Gill, Tom Strange, Tommy Hines and H. P. Bugg

Do you know anything about the men pictured? If so please comment below. If you have any further stories or pictures about them you’d be willing to share on this website, please contact me.

Elder William Creath: Minister in Mecklenburg, Virginia

My last post was about the Susanna Clark and William B. Jones marriage record. While researching that marriage record, I found a “ministers return” record from Mecklenburg, Virginia on microfilm on FamilySearch.org. The ministers wrote up lists of marriages they had performed, and sent the lists periodically to the clerk of the court. Here is the image of the entry for Susanna Clark and William Jones.

The collection begins here (image 81 of 208), with an index at the beginning. This record collection is from the time period 1785-1854.

I looked up several of my early ancestors in this collection and found that they were married by different ministers. I’m puzzled as to why an entry for the marriage of John B. Kidd to Elizabeth Rainey isn’t in this collection. They did marry in Mecklenburg on 16 Feb 1818, but they are not found in the index. I also manually looked through the collection from 1810-1820, but did not see them. I wonder if this means they were perhaps not married by a minister, but instead by a Justice of the Peace? (When I find the answers to these questions, I will post about it.)

I wondered who this preacher or minister, William Creath was and what church he worked at. I found a booklet written by William Creath’s son, Jacob Creath. He called his father “a Calvanistic Baptist preacher.”

Here is a link to this booklet written by Jacob Creath in 1866 about his father William Creath

William Creath did not appear to have a fixed congregation, rather, he appears to have been a traveling preacher. On the ministers returns records, most of the ministers simply wrote their names at the end of the lists of the married persons, but William also wrote “Minister of the Gospel” after his name.

William Creath was the father of sixteen children! His first child was Elizabeth Roffe Creath born 4 March 1792. She died as a young child. Susanna Clark and William Jones were married in December of that same year, 1792. Jacob Creath wrote about each of his siblings, who they married and where they moved to. Letters from his father are also included in the booklet.

Jacob’s booklet tells about where William Creath preached: “Brother James B. Taylor, of Richmond, Va., in his History of the Virginian Baptist Preachers, says, on page 328: “He was, according to Semple, the means of originating the churches called Allen’s Creek and Wilson’s, and for some time supplied Malone’s–all in Mecklenburg County, Va. These churches, even though in his immediate vicinity, did not to any great extent prosper. He was in the habit of making lengthy tours through different parts of Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. For many years he was scarcely employed in any other way than as an itinerating preacher….”

Jacob Creath wrote in response to that, “My remarks on the above histories: First–Bro. Semple obtained his information from hearsay, as he was never in my father’s neighborhood–never nearer than Richmond, which was eighty miles from my father’s; and brother Semple lived below Richmond some fifty miles. Second–Allen’s Creek was twenty miles or more from my father’s, and Malone’s was six miles below my father’s house. Third–He preached for these churches occasionally; he was not their pastor. [51] His being little at home shows that he was not their regular preacher. Fourth–An itinerating preacher could not be the regular preacher of churches. Fifth–In traveling and preaching, he obeyed the command of our Saviour, “Go and preach the Gospel.” Sixth–Then he did more good by traveling, and it was more in accordance with his gift and talent…..”

Six miles north of Malone’s church is probably right about at the Lunenburg-Mecklenburg border. I wonder if William B. Jones or Susannah Clark lived further north before they married? Or maybe they traveled several miles to be married by William Creath? Or if perhaps the minister traveled to where William and Susannah lived to marry them at their home?

Patterns of Moving: Before Mecklenburg

Whenever I feel stuck researching my family history, I try to think about patterns. What is the normal pattern for this family? If they did something that breaks the normal pattern, why? What is the normal pattern for that time and place? One pattern I have noticed is that people moved in groups. They joined military units or were in the local militia together as neighbors. Moves often happened for economic reasons. People moved with close family and friends to a new place, the people they knew they could depend on for a new start.

I know about several early Mecklenburg families, but cannot personally document any of my ancestors born before 1800, or know where they lived before Mecklenburg- except for one line, and that is my Newman line. James B. Jones (Great Creek area) married Martha Newman. They raised 15 children! Martha’s death record said she was born in Orange, VA. At first, I thought that was a mistake because Martha’s father, Abner Newman was in a Mecklenburg unit during the War of 1812 and married in Brunswick County, Virginia in 1792. I kept searching for a some kind of connection to Orange County Virginia.  I discovered that when Martha’s father died she went to live with her grandfather in Orange. She, her mother, and siblings who had not yet married all moved to Orange.

Martha’s grandfather William Newman was born in Essex County, Virginia. He lived where the Occupacia Creek crosses Route 17, very close to the Rappahannock River. William Thomas lived between the Newmans and the Rappahannock River. The more I read the court books, the more I start to wonder about if several of my Mecklenburg ancestors lived in Essex first. William Newman’s next door neighbors were Walkers, Thomases, Joneses, Brookes, Moseleys, Kidds,  and Grays. (Even though I know my Grays immigrated from County Armagh, Ireland in 1838). I see all those family names as neighbors to the Newmans  for 100 years in Essex County.  Because farms were failing in Essex county during the 1750’s and 1760’s, some people started to move to Caroline County and Orange County.  William Newman worked for many years for John Baylor and his wife Frances Walker who had farms in both Caroline and Orange counties. Mrs. Baylor had a brother who settled in Brunswick County, Virginia. Three Walker brothers (whose father was born in Essex), married three of Martha’s sisters. (William Newman’s grandchildren.) I know that these are common British surnames, but I can’t help wondering when I see these families as next door neighbors in Essex for 100 years, and then see these same names as close neighbors in Eastern Mecklenburg. That’s a pattern I don’t plan to ignore or think of as just a coincidence. It is true that a lot of people migrated from Isle of Wight and Surry counties to Mecklenburg, but now I am studying the early Essex (Old Rappahannock County) migration route to Mecklenburg.

This map shows the path that my Newman family traveled from 17th century  Essex county, to 1810 in Mecklenburg. When I find more connections to colonial families or where families  were before they came to Mecklenburg, I will share them here.  On the map below, I have marked landmarks closest to where William Newman, then where his granddaughter Martha Newman lived. The route displayed is the current highway/ travel route.

Tobacco-Mecklenburg’s cash crop

Gray sisters: Martha Moseley, Dolly Taylor & Nannie Kidd (from Jim Kidd)

I love this picture of 3 sisters linked arm in arm. I think they look adorable! I like to imagine from the way they look here that they were friends, and stood by each other through both good times and tough times. This is the only picture I know of, with my Virginia family on a farm. Tobacco was a huge part of their life. Peanuts, squash and sweet potatoes were also important crops. There was often a huge kitchen garden for the family near the house. They ate what they grew. Obvious to farmers, but not so obvious to me who grew up in cities and rarely saw family vegetable gardens. This picture was probably taken in Mecklenburg about 110 years ago. In the late 1890s, Nannie Gray Kidd remained in Bracey, her siblings moved to Danville, VA. Martha and Dolly (pictured) lived in Danville at the time of this picture, but as they lived in the city; I’m assuming Martha and Dolly came to visit Nannie in Mecklenburg when this picture was taken in the early 1910’s.

2007 Lindbergh Tudor

Lindbergh Tudor told me his hair was always a mess as a young boy, even in school pictures. He explained there was usually sticky tar in his hair from working in the tobacco fields and it hurt to comb that out. He also designed his wagon to work well with transporting tobacco leaves. He made spaces between slats to hold tools, which was also a good width to tie tobacco leaves to the slats. I love the inventiveness of farmers! I really enjoy meeting farmers and asking about their farms’ history.

2004 Mary Walker & sister Pearl. Farmed tobacco in LaCrosse

Mary Walker told me that as a young girl, her large family lined up in the field. The youngest children held bundles of tobacco leaves together, while the older children tied the leaves together. Teenage siblings carried the tied stalks to the wagon. They all had various jobs. They also helped and worked together with their neighbors, who were often close relatives.

I was repeatedly told that picking off hornworms and tar that stuck to them, were their least favorite part of tobacco farming; that and being exasperated with the heat and humidity . Some people told me it was their job to squash & kill hornworms to save their family crops. Those are huge, fat, scary, gross looking bugs! I’m glad I’ve never had that job!

tobacco barn

Most people I’ve interviewed from Mecklenburg told me tobacco was their cash crop, and a big part of Mecklenburg’s history and economy. I’ve heard some tobacco was hung to dry, in taller barns. I found this shorter barn pictured above near Boydton. Growing up a city girl, I’d never seen a structure like this before. I took a picture to show people and ask what it was used for. I was told the tobacco was cured differently with this type of barn. Sort of smoked dry to cure it before a lot of the crop was lost to humidity. People told me this was where Brunswick stew was big. The curing process took several days and lots of hands. People camped around the barn during this harvest and enjoyed Brunswick stew.

I’ve been asking everyone I meet for interviews about their chores when they were children. Everyone tells me farming was hard and exhausting work, even at a young age. But it was necessary for survival, to have enough food to eat, and keep the farms running. There was no big equipment, they farmed (and often still farm) with simple tools “the old fashioned way”. Not many had tractors, because they couldn’t afford it. Everyone had to work long hours with shovels, hoes, resourcefulness and as a team effort. People told me they understood why a lot of their kids and grand kids didn’t want to continue farming. They could get more money and have their finances more secure with other types of jobs. Old farms, older farming methods, and their stories are starting to disappear. So I want to preserve and share as many stories and pictures as I can find.

Do you have pictures or stories about your family farming? What were your family’s cash crops? Comment below, even if not from Mecklenburg. If you have a Mecklenburg related farming picture you’re willing to share, please let me know! I’d love to post it on this site.

tobacco barn for hanging tobacco (Brunswick VA 2006)

Henry Clay Kidd-WWI Veteran

Henry Clay Kidd was a wounded WWI veteran. He stayed awhile in a European hospital recovering. Henry was gassed badly during the war. It affected his lungs and skin for the rest of his life. He returned to the United States Apr 1919.

I met Elva Kidd White two months ago (Mar 2020). She showed me this picture (above) of her father. I asked Elva what she did as a teenager for dating or courting. She answered me, “Nothing! My father said I wasn’t allowed to date!” She did not date until after she left home and moved to Richmond. Elva knew Warren White when she was younger. They wrote eachother letters during WWII. I asked Elva how her parents met. She said she didn’t know, that wasn’t the type of question they could really ask. Adults found it intrusive or too personal. This is Elva’s parents: Henry Clay Kidd and Susie Littleton Seymour’s wedding picture. They married 1 Mar 1923, in Brodnax. (Brodnax is a town partly in Mecklenburg County, partly in Brunswick County)

Henry Kidd owned a store in South Hill. At first, Henry’s family lived in town; then they moved to the country to have a farm. Their farm supplied the store with produce, milk etc… Elva told me she never felt hungry. They were always well fed and did well financially during the Depression. Her father tried to help people with jobs, and tried to be a good and fair employer. On Sundays, Henry’s family went to church, then visited with his wife’s family in Brodnax. They had a car, electricity, and a phone at home and also at the store long before more rural parts of Mecklenburg had these luxuries. Elva wrote in her family history memoirs book, “Even during the Depression, I always had plenty of food and the clothing I needed. My father didn’t even finish the grammar grades, but had beautiful handwriting, was a hard worker, and provided for his family. He worked on Saturday nights until midnight, but never worked on Sundays. He started with asthma when he was in his early 40’s: A result of the mustard gas and trench warfare of WWI”

Henry Clay Kidd

Above is the ship manifest showing Henry coming home to his father Charles Kidd, in Bracey, VA. Charles would have been married to Lucy Burton then, (1919) living on highway 903 in Bracey. Henry Kidd was the sister of Nancy Kidd. Two of Nancy’s sons (Charles and Aubrey Tudor) have been the last two veteran spotlights on this website. Here is a chart showing Henry’s branch of the family. This download is a PDF size 8.5×11.

I’m very thankful to Elva’s sons, Brent and Randall White, for helping me meet Elva and get copies of these pictures. The White family has done an amazing, truly impressive job, preserving older pictures and stories!