I realized quickly that I’d have to “think outside the box” to learn about my ancestors. I LOVE to interview people, and listen to stories about "the older days" when life seemed a little slower and simpler. I study USGS maps, plats, read chanceries, look for long forgotten cemeteries and try to help preserve memories people share with me. This blog is ad free, so it's easier to focus on sharing stories. Feel free to sign the guestbook, or join the FaceBook group. Even if we aren't related by DNA, I'd still love to hear about your research efforts and family stories. I am interested in posting (to this blog) stories relevant to the Mecklenburg-Brunswick families.

13 March 2009

James Speed, Newman Dortch's father-in-law

Many people assumed and wrote that John Speed was the father of Sarah Speed that married Newman Dortch. But I found a chancery case: Mecklenburg, VA Chancery case: Moss vs. Dortch 1829-001 box 257. In this case, it specifically states that James Speed is father of four children:
1-Martha Moss, the wife of Nathaniel Moss
2-Sally Dortch, wife of Newman Dortch
3-Elizabeth Speed, not married
4- Mary Dortch wife of Lewis Dortch
James Speed willed his house to Newman Dortch and Sally Speed. They moved into the house in Sept 1821 by consent and request of James Speed. And they made improvements to the house for James.
I went to the courthouse and there was no will for James Speed any more, even though it was referenced in the chancery. I went to Library of VA state archives and it was not there. So without seeing this chancery, you would never have known that James Speed at one time had a will. And this is the only record that shows this family that I can find.
I also discovered there were a few James Speeds. One was a Revolutionary War soldier, from Mecklenburg VA, and settled in Kentucky. There is a letter he wrote to the governor posted on the LVA website. There is another James Speed in Charlotte County, VA, the county just to the west of Mecklenburg. Many people assume that the James Speed in Mecklenburg went to Charlotte, then onto Kentucky. But I made a chart side by side showing the places I found 4 James Speeds. Many assume they are the same person, but I think it's four separate people. At least 3 people. I made a chart of what records I found each year, to see if there was any overlap. I went to LVA to pull some wills to try to prove whether they were the same or different people. And there was no relationship info stated. So still searching for info, and still have lots of questions. In the meantime, I wanted to post this chancery info that very few people have seen, so the info doesn't stay wrongly posted or lost. I am convinced and can prove that my James Speed is not the one who went to battle, or the Charlotte James Speed. Or the early Mecklenburg James Speed showing up on records. But about 10 years after the earlier James Speed moved to Kentucky, I think my James Speed shows up. I don't know if he is related or not to the other Speeds in Mecklenburg. There was a will in the courthouse that just vaguely said "I will some land to my cousin James Speed." I don't know if my James Speed is the cousin? Still searching. I am posting this plat. I have asked several "old timers" and we don't know what "courthouse road" was. The courthouse is in Boydton, but there isn't a road with that name. If you click on the picture you can see it full screen. Note the plat is sideways. But if you look closely, below the drawing, there's an "S" for South, even though it looks like part of the drawing. -I am temporarily unable to load the plat. I will try again soon. -Julie

02 March 2009

Julie & Aaron Cabitto's 13th Anniversary

This is a slightly different post, to notate my history for a moment. Today is Aaron & my 13th anniversary. Here's a picture last year for our 12th anniversary, to match my profile picture. I'm not in leg braces this year, but it is a lot of work to keep them at bay.

The last 6 years, we go away overnight to visit a historic & beautiful place, not too far away. We check out the local history, local food, and find good places to go for walks. On our 8th anniversary we went to Mt. Jackson, VA (Shenandoah's); 9th Orange, VA; 10th Washington DC; 11th Charlottesville, VA, including Monticello; 12th Richmond, VA; this year, 13th, we went to Annapolis, MD this past weekend.

Last year the Richmond Capitol was newly restored, and this year, the Annapolis capitol just reopened last month. I'm really glad Aaron loves history, museums, art and good food. Cause that's what we do on our trips. And I'm glad I have my best friend to share my favorite things with. Here is a picture of us this year, to the left. I got a fancy beaded pink purse for a nice date we went on last year. I normally like simple things, but I thought this purse looked like Cinderella going to the ball with Prince Charming. Aaron jokingly told me we weren't going to a ball. And I said a date that was two days long and no housework is definitely Cinderella going to the ball! So I carried my fancy pink ball purse with me the whole time :) I love my Aaron!