Thursday, May 1, 2008

So Obscure a Person

So Obscure A Person

"So Obscure A Person" is the story of a man who wanted too much, and his Virginia descendants, who were the beneficiaries of his quests. He was ALEXANDER STINSON Senior of Williamsburg and Buckingham County, Virginia and his lifetime spanned almost the entire eighteenth century of Colonial Virginia. He first appeared in the court records of Virginia as a bound servant boy, “a slave without shackles.” The title of this book comes from the reply of the Virginia Council at Williamsburg in May of 1741, when, as an overly ambitious young man, he made an official petition for land to fulfill his dream of becoming a Virginia planter. After years in bondage, his hopes must have seemed shattered when President JAMES BLAIR and the Council denied his plea, explaining that it was "too much land for so obscure a person.”

As his childhood had been passed being owned by tavern keepers along Williamsburg’s Duke of Gloucester Street, young SAWNEY seemed not easily discouraged. He allied himself with some of Virginia’s finest families, and went on to win his Virginia land and much, much more.

Eighteenth century Virginians muddled through life much as we do today. They lived each day, one at a time, the same as do we, but they did so much more during those one hundred years of history. Alexander STINSON moved upcountry from Tidewater Virginia to a place called Willis’s on the branches of Cattail, in what is now the center of Virginia, Buckingham County. He saw the land when it was a wilderness, and he settled it, and built a home for himself and his family. His dream of working the land he had won came true, as he became a Virginia planter. He cleared and built his own roadways, he taught his children, and he helped create a society where there had been no community at all. He and his children rebelled against a tyrannical government, fought a war, and created a brand new nation. While living through it all, he kept intact the faith of his fathers. After having accomplished all that he did, his children moved on to new places to pioneer as he had done.

"So Obscure A Person” is a family history and genealogy of ALEXANDER STINSON Senior of Buckingham County, Virginia and his Virginia descendants. ALEXANDER STINSON is the progenitor of the STINSON family of Buckingham County, including those who went further South after the Revolutionary War. This book is the result of years of research at courthouses and libraries in Virginia and elsewhere. It is extensively documented with both embedded sources and footnotes, and is fully indexed. There is an excursus on the HOOPER family which includes the CABELL and MAYO cousins, relatives of the STINSONs.

Photograph from Flickr


Patty said...

Hi Cousin Edna,
I ordered your book as soon as I heard it was available. I received it today and just finished reading it. It is great. I am a direct descendent of Alexander. My mother was Lucille Stinson daughter of George Washington Stinson, son of David Washington, son of John, son of Archibald, son of David who was the son of Alexander. I grew up in Buckingham and we have a Stinson family reunion every year.This year it is June 1st. We would love
for you to come.
I have been working on my family history for about 20 years but did not have much on the Stinsons until now. I became a DAR member on my fathers side a few years ago and now maybe I will link on the Stinson side thanks to you.
you may contact me at 804-883-5936 or e-mail me at
Thanks for a great job well done
Patty Hudgins Montgomery

Edna Barney said...

Patty - I am happy that you found this site and thank you very much for your comments about the book.I cannot make the Stinson Reunion, however I certainly appreciate the invitation. Yes - we certainly are cousins, from Buckingham County.

victoria said...

Really enjoying this book! I descend from George Stinson and Phoebe Barksdale on the Kilgore line. Thank you for researching, compiling and writing this--much appreciated.

Unknown said...

My name is Jo Ellen (Jodi) Johnson Neal. My grandfather was Joseph Ellis Adcock, his father was Charles Augustus Adcock, and Charles' father was Joseph S. Adcock, his father was Henry, Henry's father was Josuha, Josuha's father was Edmond Adcock who was married to Jonanna
Stinson, who father was Alexander Stinson and mother Jonanna Hooper. I am so excited to find other Stinsons!! Would love to have the info on family reunions. I live in WNC. My email address is: - I am going to have to buy this book!!
Thank you!!

Jennifer Taylor said...

Hi, I’m Jennifer Millikin Taylor, daughter of Clarence Thomas Millikin, and Cynthia Fahed, from Buckingham, Va. my paternal grandfather was Jim Millikin, and maternal grandmother was Phyllis Fahed. My dad was in buckingham last week and ran into a guy, Kenneth Bryant, who informed us that we are related to David Washington (who is my great grandfather x4) and his son Garland Stinson (my dad’s great, great grandfather). I just ordered this book and cannot wait to learn more about this amazing part of my family history. Any additional info or photos any of you would like to share would be greatly appreciated. I plan on coming to VA soon to hopefully meet some Stinson’s in person, do more digging, and learn as much as I can about my family. Thank you for sharing this amazing history and I look forward to reading this book!!!