Friday, May 29, 2015

Early History of Buckingham County

"The Early History of Buckingham County" by James Meade Anderson, 1955
"As to the exact date of settlement or the identity or the first settlers of this area, there is no evidence. However, the names and date, 'R. BOLLING, I. BELL, 1700,' are carved in a rock ledge on Willis Mountain. This is the earliest known date that any white man put foot on the soil of Buckingham County. It is an assured fact that there would have been trips into Buckingham before 1700. It is therefore logical that the pioneers made their way up the James and in settling their searches toward the west, eventually scaled the mountain for a better view of terrain. Since, this lone mountain peak, which was later named Willis Mountain, rises from a relatively flat plain to 1,159 ft., it may be seen for several miles. Nine years later W. SMITH and P. TURPIN made their way into a cave, later known as Woodson's Cave, on Willis' Mountain and carved their names along with the date 1709. These two carvings on the mountain are the only known records that have been discovered concerning early adventurers into Buckingham County."
"So Obscure A Person” is about the descendants of ALEXANDER STINSON who was an early pioneer to Buckingham County, Virginia. In 1750, ALEXANDER STINSON's land lay adjacent to the Rocky Ridge of Willis Mountain, which bordered on the land of Colonel JOHN BOLLING.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Stinson Vineyards of Albemarle

The Stinson Vineyards is located at 4744 Sugar Hollow Rd, in White Hall, Virginia. It is described as a "family-owned estate winery in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains specializing in small lot wines with a distinct French influence. The father/daughter team of Scott and Rachel STINSON takes inspiration from 'garagiste' wineries of France, in both their winemaking techniques and the winery itself, which is built into an old three car garage." The STINSON patriarch of Virginia, Alexander STINSON, who lived and prospered in the neighboring county of Buckingham, would be proud that STINSONs continue living off the Virginia land as he had begun so long ago. "So Obscure A Person” is the story of our ancient forebear "Alex'r STINSON" who as a young man in the 1730s had petitioned the Virginia Council for 12,000 acres and was rejected as "too much land for 'so obscure a person'." (Stinson Vineyards Blog)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Nancy Stinson & James LeSueur

Nancy STINSON and her husband appear on pages 59, 60 of "So Obscure A Person.” The dates and other information appearing with this family were obtained from the 1830 Census, DAR lineage papers and a CHASTAIN family genealogy book published in 1995. The dates cannot be correct for this family, so I have thoroughly researched the 1830 Buckingham County, Virginia census and calculated birth and marriage dates for the couple. They had two sons enumerated on the census, born between 1811 and 1820. They also owned ten slaves. James LESUEUR was born 1781-1790, of Buckingham County, Virginia, and his wife on the census was born 1791-1800, of Buckingham County. They married about 1814, probably in Buckingham County, Virginia. There is no documented death date for Nancy STINSON.

The remainder of the information on Nancy STINSON which came from Pierre Chastain and His Descendants, page 113, does not match the fact that James LESUEUR was living in 1830, at Buckingham County, Virginia, with two young sons only. The CHASTAIN information will need to be further researched.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

L. Varner Stinson of Oklahoma

The grandfather of L. VARNER STINSON was Judge DAVID STINSON** of Shilo, Hunt County, Texas. DAVID STINSON appears on page 108, of  "So Obscure A Person” where his lineage can be documented back to ALEXANDER STINSON of Colonial Virginia.

A biography of L. VARNER STINSON appears in A Standard History of Oklahoma by Joseph B. Thoburn, 1916, Volume IV.
The Oklahoma Legislature of 1915 passed a law providing a method by which public highways might be constructed in every county in the state. ... In Bryan County, where only 42 per cent of the lands are taxable, road work began in earnest in 1915, when the county commissioners designated County Surveyor L. VARNER STINSON as county engineer. From 10 per cent to 15 per cent of the highway built in a county are designated as state highways and one-half the expense of construction is borne by the state, while the county engineer makes the necessary surveys, drawings, plats, specifications, etc.

L. VARNER STINSON was well qualified for the work of county engineer, being a graduate in civil engineering from the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas and having had several years of experience in field work. Another qualification lay in the fact that he had for eight years been surveyor of the county, being the only man to fill that office since statehood. During those eight years he had been the commissioners’ engineer in the construction of all highways, bridges and other work of an engineering nature.

MR. STINSON was born at Campbell, Hunt County, Texas, September 27, 1880, and is a son of A. W. D. and IDA (EILAND) STINSON. His father, a native of Texas, is now sixty-seven years of age, but is still actively engaged in the real estate business at Durant, Oklahoma, where he is a member of the city council and a leading and influential citizen. His grandfather** was a lawyer and jurist of more than local note for many years in East Texas.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Louisa Stinson's Six Sons

The Mystery of Mary Louisa STINSON

Mother "Luisia STINSON" first appears on the 1860 census at Buckingham Courthouse, Virginia, as a seamstress and implied single mother with four young sons, Robert STINSON, Samuel STINSON, Charles M. STINSON and James STINSON. On marriage documents, the two older of these sons later gave their father as Thomas STINSON.  On the birth record of her son Charles STINSON, only his mother, Louisa STINSON, was recorded. It appears that Louisa or Mary Louisa STINSON was never married to Thomas STINSON or anyone else, because she was always described as "Single" in lieu of "Widowed" or "Married" in the census records. Her two youngest children, John STINSON (born about 1862) and Edward STINSON, appear as her sons on succeeding censuses. Edward STINSON was born in Virginia in September 1871, and in 1896, he married Eva who was born December 1872, in Virginia. In 1910, Buckingham County, Virginia, "Mother Mary L. STINSON" was living in the household of her son John STINSON and his family. Mary Louisa was not with him in 1920, and I have found no death record for her.

A Louisa STINSON appears with her STINSON parents on page 101, of "So Obscure A Person” descended from Alexander STINSON of Buckingham County, Virginia.

This post is updated from 6/15/2014 because of discoveries of new information.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Minnie Frances Stinson of Buckingham

Fourteen-year-old MINNIE FRANCES STINSON and some of her siblings appear with their widowed father David W. STINSON on the 1900 Census at Marshall in Buckingham County, Virginia. The children were WILLIAM D. STINSON, born September 1874; JAMES P. STINSON born February 1876; JENNIE E. STINSON born June 1877; MARTHA S. STINSON born February 1879; GEORGE W. STINSON born February 1880; WILEY G. STINSON born June 1884; and MINNIE F. STINSON born April 1886.

The parents of MINNIE FRANCES STINSON appear on pages 143 through 147 of "So Obscure A Person” where their lineage is traced back to ALEXANDER STINSON of Colonial Virginia.

I found the above image identified as Minnie Frances STINSON at, uploaded by SusanFrederick61.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Indentured Servitude in Virginia

Page 20 of "So Obscure A Person” begins the tale of Alexander STINSON's adventures as an Indentured Servant in Williamsburg, Virginia, even to his bequeathal in the will of his Tavern-keeper owner to her heirs or to be sold at public auction. So what exactly was this Indentured Servitude that our forebear was subjected to?

Indentured Servitude was commonly practiced in the early settlement days of America, especially in the Tidewater Colonies of Maryland and Virginia. The use of indentured servants for labor was practiced long before the arrival of slaves to Virginia, as the very-intensive labor required to raise crops such as tobacco need a large scale importation of farm laborers. The scheme was invented to pay the ocean passage for an immigrant, and then for that new laborer to be bound by an indenture contract for five to seven years. Even after the importation of slaves began, indentured service continued. The British crown even used the scheme to export undesirables, including debtors and criminals from Great Britain. In 1681, more than twice as many plantation laborers were indentured whites than black slaves.

"Servant in the colonial era meant about the same as employee in ours; and within the class there was as wide a variation as today between a migrant farm laborer in California and a master electrician. In the English colonies, a servant was usually a person whose passage was paid, or assisted, in return for working for a certain number of years--usually four or five for an adult. When released from this apprenticeship, the servant became a freeman like any other. Servants in Virginia might be of any class, from poor gentleman, to convicted felon. The average servant was a respectable young person who wished to better himself in the New World but could not afford the cost of outfit and passage. During the four or five years he worked for his master, he became acclimated, learned how to grow tobacco and corn, and in many instances learned a trade. During this term of service the servant received only food and clothing; but at the end, the former servant could set up as a yeoman farmer, vote, and even be elected to the assembly."

Morison goes on to say that the range of membership in the servant class varied from respectable young men and women; to Scottish and Irish prisoners taken in the civil wars; to boys and girls that were kidnapped and sold to ships' masters who then resold them on arrival in the New World; to convicted felons. These latter in turn might vary from people imprisoned for nothing worse than stealing a loaf of bread, to hardened habitual criminals." (Samuel Eliot Morison, "The Oxford History of the American People," Oxford University Press, New York, 1965, page 82)