Saturday, June 20, 2020

History Is History; Nothing More, Nothing Less

Open source from the Library of Congress
(digital ID: npcc 02134 //

As we are in the midst of a culture war, and depending on your location an actual "hot" war, I am inclined to issue a brief statement on behalf of Bull Run Mountain Memories.

First and foremost we are amateur historians and genealogists.  But we recognize bull shit when we see it. Historical revisionism, guilt trips and other forms of ethano-masochism will never be welcomed here. History is history. Nothing more, nothing less. History doesn't give a hoot about your feelings or the social-norm-of-the-day. We will present the historical record and genealogy of our family in as complete and factual a form as the records and DNA testing allows. While we may not be particularly proud of what our ancestors did over a hundred and fifty years ago, we will not be embarrassed or deterred from our mission to tell our story. The rest is history.

Just this week a US senator from the state of Virginia stated the following:

The first African Americans sent into the English colonies came to Point Comfort in 1619. They were slaves, they had been captured against their will, but they landed in colonies that didn’t have slavery — there were no laws about slavery in the colonies at that time,” Kaine explained. “The United States didn’t inherit slavery from anybody. We created it. It got created by the Virginia General Assembly and the legislatures of other states. It got created by the court systems in colonial America that enforced fugitive slave laws.”

Even the most basic student of world history might find that statement to be hard to believe coming from a US senator. For more detail on the actual event we see this from the Hampton city government web site:

"In late August 1619 the privateer White Lion arrived off Point Comfort near present day Fort Monroe. Aboard was a captive cargo of "..not any thing but 20. and odd Negroes, which the Governor and Cape Marchant bought for victualls…" (John Rolfe, 1619. Letter to Sir Edwin Sandys of the Royal Virginia Company). These 20 individuals were the first Africans arriving in the new Virginia colony. Their names, given by Portuguese missionaries: Antony, Isabela, William, Angela, Anthony, Frances, Margaret, Anthony, John, Edward, Anthony and others whose names are not yet known. The Virginia colony's first Africans had lived in the Ndongo Kingdom in Angola in West Central Africa on a lush, green, high plateau 150 miles from the Atlantic. The Portuguese and their mercenary allies, the Imbangala, waged war on the Ndongo kingdom, the most powerful state in the Mbundu region, to gain control of the region and provide slaves for the trade. The Angolans on the White Lion had been taken from the Spanish slave ship San Juan Bautista. The Captain of the White Lion, John Jope, traded the captured Angolans to the Virginians represented by Governor George Yeardley and his Cape Merchant Abraham Piersey. These were in turn taken into servitude in local homes and plantation."

And what better way to end this statement than with a quote from an authority that has researched this field for years, Dr. Thomas Sowell. This quote is from an article that appeared in the Dallas Morning News in 2010 but rings as true today:

"The inhumanity of human beings toward other human beings is not a new story, much less a local story. There is no need to hide it, because there are lessons we can learn from it. But there is also no need to distort it, so that sins of the whole human species around the world are presented as special defects of "our society" or the sins of a particular race. If American society and Western civilization are different from other societies and civilization, it is that they eventually turned against slavery, and stamped it out, at a time when non-Western societies around the world were still maintaining slavery and resisting Western pressures to end slavery, including in some cases armed resistance. Only the fact that the West had more firepower than others put an end to slavery in many non-Western societies during the age of Western imperialism. Yet today there are Americans who have gone to Africa to apologize for slavery - on a continent where slavery has still not been completely ended, to this very moment."

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Baldwin Lunsford's Estate Sale

In this ad from the Alexandria Gazette, vol. 51, no. 258; 30 October 1850 (kindly provided by Wendy Wheatcraft, historian with the Fauquier County Virginia government) we see some detail on the auction of Baldwin Lunsford's estate that took place on November 4, 1850. This was placed by his son, Benjamin, acting as sole Executor. I have copies of his will, estate inventory and sale ledger that can be found on line as a result of the Library of Virginia's Chancery Records Index project. The LVA has been systematically scanning chancery files to pdf, and they can be a treasure trove of genealogical information.

Shortly after 1785 when the General Assembly abolished the feudal English property rule of "primogeniture" whereby an estate was passed down directly to the first born (non bastard) son in the family, there was an explosion of chancery suits by family members who for various reasons may have felt they were left out or unfairly treated in some way.

Chancery cases began with a bill of complaint. This was followed by an answer to the complaint from the party being sued. Court appointed commissioners would decide a fair and equitable settlement of the case based on all the evidence. After reporting their findings to the court, a judge would make a final decree. We will explore the chancery suit involving Baldwin in a future post. But for now, what continues to amaze me was Baldwin's ownership of up to twelve slaves. As an amateur historian and genealogist, I refuse to judge past practices by the moral standards of today. To do otherwise is pure lunacy. But think of those times. Baldwin was a dirt farmer unable to sign his name. And yet he had to run a farm that would provide for both his family and up to twelve chattels. While more wealthy landed gentry in Fauquier County at that time may have had upwards of 100 slaves, I still find this amazing.

So stay tuned for a future post where we will examine Baldwin's will, estate inventory and sale ledger describing his kitchen plate, chattels and farm implements.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Virginia half-penny of 1733

Courtesy of
As a child I had heard about the colonial era Virginia half-penny, but never really did any research on the subject or had seen a real one up close (reproductions abound at the usual tourist traps and shops at Colonial Williamsburg). That was until this past Christmas when my wife surprised me with one as a present. Thank you Sweetie! This means a lot to an old Virginia Boy.

I don't have a way of shooting a good close up of mine but this image from the Special Collections Department at the University of Notre Dame, IN looks to be about the same wear quality and color.

From the Notre Dame description: the Virginia charter allowed for the striking of coins as far back as 1609. But the Assembly didn't do so until May 20, 1773, when they authorized a halfpenny to be struck at the Tower Mint in London. The coin was copper at a weight of sixty halfpence to the pound. Five tons (about 670,000 pieces) arrived in New York aboard the ship "Virginia" on February 14, 1774. But were not distributed until written royal permission was obtained about a year later. The Virginia Gazette, printed between March 2-16, announced that the coins were available for exchange either for gold, silver or treasury notes. Just in time for the Revolution breaking out on April 19, 1775. Poor timing!

As you would expect, Virginians hoarded this coin and other hard currencies until the end of the war. And regardless of the King's portrait, they were used extensively during both the Revolutionary and post-war times in Virginia.

High quality versions are available, but they are much too rich for this boy's blood. But it is cool to see how the originals would have looked in March 1775 if you were to have shown up in Williamsburg to make an exchange.

R. Dwayne Lunsford, PhD

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Completion of Our Y-chromosome Project

Human Chromosome-Y (chrY)
Credit: National Library of Medicine (NIH)
2018 marked a major turning point in our genealogy research. For starters, I decided to get into genetic testing with the goal to use DNA analysis of the Y-chromosome (chrY) to confirm our paternal heritage. To go back in time as far as I could so that our little clan of Fauquier County Luncefords/Lunsfords might have biological confirmation of our genealogical paper trail to our earliest known ancestor, Baldwin Lunsford (abt 1764-1850). This exercise also would provide a solid DNA profile of our paternal line so that one day we could link up with other Lunsford families rooted in the tidewater region of colonial Virginia.

ChrY analysis is particularly useful for the genealogist because in western cultures surnames usually are passed on from the father to son along with chrY. Assuming no prior non-paternity events (NPEs) such as illegitimacy or adoption, males should be able to trace their paternal line all the way back to medieval times and the advent of surnames. And for anthropologists, chrY studies are used to go back tens of thousands of years to trace prehistoric human migration patterns.

I started out by testing myself, then a first cousin and then a second cousin. About the time those results came in, and as luck would have it, I was able to make contact with Cousin Steve, a fourth cousin. My connection to Steve goes back far enough for both of us to share the same Great-Great-Great-grandfather (GGGgf), Benjamin Lunceford (son of Baldwin). And to really get the project going he was completely on board for DNA testing!

Eventually all four of us cousins came back with the same short tandem repeat (STR) profile on our chrY. STRs are the primary genetic marker used for paternity testing and crime scene analysis. But the real power for the genealogist lies in SNP analysis. SNP (pronounced just like a scissor "snip") stands for single nucleotide polymorphism. SNPs are single point mutations in the DNA, and because a large chunk of chrY doesn't contain any essential genes, these changes are for the most part silent and not of any medical significance. Once the change occurs, it rarely changes again. For this reason, every male will have some degree of SNPs that are tens of thousands of years old.

Once I had our STR pattern confirmed, I moved on to a full SNP analysis on my DNA. STRs can help place your chrY into a known haplogroup. Ours turns out to be haplogroup  "I1". But it also is good to have some idea of what the terminal SNP is for your particular line. A terminal SNP is one that lies at the end of your particular branch on the greater chrY tree. Ours was found to be S2077. So at that point our chrY was designated I1-S2077*. For more information of the I1 haplogroup this link will give you the full story.

Now that next generation sequence analysis (NGS) has dropped in price at least one male in a testing project should have his chrY sequenced for a deeper analysis. I volunteered and it took most of the summer and early fall for my results to come back. A list of "private novel variants" was provided. These are SNPs that are not in the public database and most likely are specific for just our clan. But to be completely useful they must be validated using the DNA of a distant paternal relative, and at a second independent testing laboratory. This is where Cousin Steve's DNA was invaluable. I chose the top five SNPs for validation on his DNA. Of those five SNPs, four were the same for both me and Steve. Those four are now specific for our clan and can be used for future testing of Lunceford/Lunsford males to see if they are connected to us on the paternal side. But the really cool result was that final fifth SNP; designated FT119458. Surprisingly, Steve came back "ancestral" or unchanged for that position on chrY. There are experimental reasons for why that might occur and they can be as simple as the original sequence analysis calling the incorrect base, mishandling samples, etc. But since the lab still had the DNA for me, my first cousin and my second cousin, I submitted all three for a confirmation test for FT119458. My second cousin came back just like Steve, unchanged or ancestral. While me and my first cousin had this mutation. This is very strong evidence that FT119458 arose in modern times in our shared paternal grandfather, Ernest Chilton Lunsford, Sr. It was very surprising to find a SNP occurring so recently in our past. Rare indeed, but not completely unheard of. This demonstrates the power of a deeper analysis of chrY.

As it stands right now, the following SNPs should be diagnostic for our Fauquier County Virginia clan of Lunceford/Lunsfords (click for their description):


And for males derived from Ernest Chilton Lunsford, Sr., this SNP would be diagnostic:


A more detailed description of these results can be found here at our family project page hosted by Family Tree DNA. If you have had any DNA testing done at Family Tree and you are a Lunceford/Lunsford male from Fauquier County Virginia please feel free to join our group.

From the paper records we know that Baldwin had two families. His first wife, Anna Ball died when Benjamin was only a few years old. Baldwin then remarried to Judith Creel and had a large second family. As it stands today our DNA analysis can only confirm our absolute paternity back as far as Benjamin. In order to confirm Baldwin's chrY profile, we will need to find and test a living male from the Creel lineage (living males derived from his second family). This may prove harder than it seems. But the search will continue.

R. Dwayne Lunsford, PhD

Sunday, October 20, 2019

A Fine Fall Day with Jim Ball

On Monday, October 7, I had the honor and distinct pleasure of meeting face-to-face with Mr. Jim Ball of Uniontown, Ohio. I've been corresponding with Jim via email since 2000 having been introduced by cousin Tim Lunceford. It really was a hoot to finally have a chance to meet him in person and discuss his family research and background. Jim is a US Marine which pretty much settled everything for me right then and there. Knowing he spent time at Quantico totally set my mind at ease..

Practically all of my data on Baldwin and his immediate family was from the earlier research and efforts of Jim and Tim. Jim has done extensive work on his Ball lineages way before the internet era when primary court house and census records were all that was available. His interest in the Lunsfords was due to Baldwin's first wife Anna Ball. Jim's family history web site can be found here. And please check out his earlier guest post to the BRMM here.

We began the day at the Fauquier County Court House deed room where I wanted to try and run down documentation on E. C. Lunceford's connection to Logan's Mill. After several hours there we made it over to the Virginiana Room at the Fauquier County Public Library to check out the various guide books and indices. Like most things in genealogy we probably could have spent several days discussing family history, but modern life intruded and we had to call it a day.

In science we often talk of standing on the shoulders of giants, those who's work we add to and carry on with our own. The same thing goes for genealogy research. Especially all of the effort that was done by researchers like Jim well before the advent of the internet and the various genealogy forums and web sites. Back then you had to go to the court house or library and dig through deed books or microfilm of census and vital records. Things are somewhat easier today, but we owe a great debt to those researchers that did the really hard work before us.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

"He Cared Not a Fart!" Fake News 1641; Sir Thomas Revisited

Assuming you have the time, patience and stomach to keep up with current news cycles, you don't have to be a professional historian to realize that there really is nothing new under the sun when it comes to politics. The current trend in "fake news" and outright fabrications may seem new to some, but it has been going on ever since humans assembled into political groups vying for power.

Case in point, Sir Thomas Lunsford (1611-1653), Royalist Colonel, cavalier hero of the British Civil War (1642-1646), lieutenant of the Tower, Knight, General of the Virginia militia (1649), member of Council and Northern Neck gentry. At one time or another, almost everyone researching the Lunsford surname seems to be enamored with the life and times of this fellow. And why not? His biography is the stuff of legend. A movie script ripe for the picking.

Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin's Place, London (Creative Commons License obtained)

Life in England

Any present day Lunsford would relish a connection to this man; and yet, the genealogy records are just not there. Many bibliographic sources are on the web about Sir Thomas and I won't do a rehash here. Most do a fairly good job of describing his early life; his violent temper, the infamous Pelham feud, his exile to France and subsequent redemption in support of Charles I against the Scots and of course his time in Virginia. For example see: British Civil War Project, and the William and Mary Quarterly (WMQ) (1) for summary overviews.

Since earlier US sources are quite old, it was refreshing to have come across the 2016 paper by Mark Stoyle (University of Southampton); titled "The Cannibal Cavalier: Sir Thomas Lunsford and the Fashioning of the Royalist Archetype"(2). In his paper, Professor Stoyle details Sir Thomas' career in England and gives many new insights into the political turmoil leading up to the civil war. Foot notes are numerous and the citations go directly to the primary British sources; often lacking in the contemporary US literature.

From Professor Stoyle:

"......On the contrary, Lunsford has been almost universally condemned by scholars, who have variously characterized him as ‘brutal’;‘notorious’;'unscrupulous’;‘thuggish’;and straightforwardly ‘murderous’. The present article does not seek to turn this hostile view of Lunsford on its head; to suggest, with Peter Newman – one of Sir Thomas’s few scholarly defenders – that he was the blameless victim of ‘innuendo and hearsay’. Rather, what it sets out to do is to provide a slightly more nuanced view of Lunsford than the one which appears in the standard histories – a view which occasionally comes perilously close to being a simple restatement of what was said about Sir Thomas by his enemies at the time......"

Take the time to read this paper closely (no paywall link above) and you will see that Sir Thomas definitely was a victim of the fake news of his time right down to his appointment as lieutenant of the Tower which lasted a mere five days (December 22 - 26, 1641) due to the rioting it caused in London. And no, it is highly unlikely that he was a cannibal preferring baby flesh!

More from Stoyle:

"What does not remain open to doubt is that, for a brief moment in 1641 - 42, Thomas Lunsford stood at the very centre of the developing political conflict, and that, as a result of the determination of parliament’s supporters still further to blacken his already woefully tarnished name, he was transformed into a popular bogeyman: the first in a long line of royalist officers on whom this transformation would subsequently be wrought." Sound familiar?

Sir Thomas in Virginia (1649 - 1653)

But what concerns US-based genealogists is his time in Virginia, having fled to the Commonwealth in 1649, one of the few colonial refuges left at that time for loyalist cavaliers looking to keep their heads. Because of his military background, he was immediately made General of the Virginia Militia by Governor Berkeley and also appointed to the Council.

On his voyage to Virginia it is noted in several sources that Sir Thomas transported 65 persons and for his trouble was granted a patent for 3423 acres on the south side of the Rappahannock River; Portobago (1). Among those listed in this group were the Lady Catherine Lunsford, and their three daughters; Elizabeth, Philippa and Mary. There also was a William Lunsford  Esq. We don't know if this was the William of his previous marriage to Anne Hudson (1). Other than this William, of unknown parentage, we have no record of Sir Thomas leaving a male heir in either Britain or Virginia.

The Thomas Ludwell slab, Burton Parish Church, Williamsburg, VA, 2007
Lady Catherine died soon after their arrival in Virginia and Sir Thomas married the widow Kemp (Elizabeth) of Claiborne's Neck the estate of Richard Kemp. They had one daughter, Katherine who married Ralph Wormeley. When Thomas died in 1653 the estate was bought by Thomas Ludwell. Subsequent owners renamed the property "Rich Neck" as it is known today (3).

There is some confusion about the final resting place of Sir Thomas. The WMQ article states that he died at Green Spring, the estate of Governor Berkeley, and is buried near there. Hagemann (3) on the other hand claims that not only was Thomas Ludwell and his slab moved to Burton Parish Church in Williamsburg but that the bodies of Richard Kemp and Sir Thomas remain at Rich Neck. But the archaeological survey turned up no adult burials at Rich Neck. Only one set of human remains were found at the site, that of a 10 - 12 year old female of probable African ancestry.

So if Ludwell was disinterred and moved to Williamsburg, and if both Kemp and Sir Thomas remain at Rich Neck, how did the survey miss them? Rich Neck is now a subdivided housing community so if they are there who knows what state they are in. This is very unfortunate as the soils in that area are well buffered and skeletal remains often times can be well preserved as noted for the 1607 burials on Jamestown Island (5). There are many folks who would be interested in Sir Thomas' DNA profile if his remains could ever be found.

Ludwell's slab inscription is as follows:

Under this Marble lieth the Body


Secretary of Virginia, who was born

at Bruton in the County of SOMERSET

in the Kingdom of ENGLAND, and

departed this life in the Year 1678 And

near this place lye the Bodies of RICHARD

KEMP, esqr, his Predecessor in ye Secretarys


in Memory of whom the Marble is placed

by the Order of Philip Ludwell esqr

Nephew of the said THOMAS LUDWELL

In the year 1727 (Anonymous 1911)

R. Dwayne Lunsford, PhD

(1) Sir Thomas Lunsford, William and Mary Quarterly. Vol 8, January 1900, p. 183-186.

(2) Stoyle, Mark. 2016. The Cannibal Cavalier: Sr. Thomas Lunsford and the Fashioning of the Royalist Archetype. The Historical Journal, Vol 59:293-317

(3) The Heritage of Virginia, James Hagemann, 1988. The Donning Co., Norfolk, VA. p. 53-54.

(4) Muraca, David; Levy, Philip and McFaden, Leslie. 2003. The Archaeology of Rich Neck Plantation (44WB52): Description of the Features. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Department of Archaeological Research, Williamsburg, VA\RR0386.xml&highlight=

(5) The Remains of the First Colonists; 1607 Burials.   

Sunday, September 8, 2019

A Visit With Dorothy

On Saturday, June 29, 2019, we had the pleasure of visiting with Dorothy (Creel) Alison on her family farm located near Orlean in the Leeds Manor or Free State region of Fauquier County, Virginia. Dorothy was born and raised on this farm. She also has a Creel family cemetery on the property that contains several Lunsford/Lunceford graves. Dorothy is the only living relative I know of from Baldwin's second family descending from his second wife, Judith Creel

This was the first time I've had a chance to meet with one of my Creel relatives and what a time we had. After getting acquainted, she took us out back to see the ancestral cabin she rescued on the property; having it moved and reconstructed in the backyard of her current home. It was a unique experience to be able to walk into and examine this perfectly preserved historic structure.

She also had large portraits of her great-great-grandparents, William L. and Mildred M. Creel in her home.

William L. Creel

Mildred M. Creel
This picture of Mildred is particularly significant as she was the daughter of William G. and Dorcus (Lunsford) Creel. So right now this is the earliest known image we have of anyone derived from Baldwin's second (Judith Creel) family.

According to Dorothy, her Creel cemetery was completely overgrown at one point. But thanks to her family's efforts it is now well maintained and available for future generations (the subject of a future post).

R. Dwayne Lunsford, PhD

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Guest Post: Life and Times of Rodham Lunsford of Fauquier County

Editor’s note: This post comes to us courtesy of James D. Ball of Uniontown, Ohio. Jim has done extensive work on the Ball family and is particularly interested in our Baldwin through his first wife Anna Ball (d. ~1796). Here he describes his research on Rodham Lunsford and how he relates to Baldwin and our clan as well as other Lunsford family units in the 1700s. Please visit his web site, "The Ball Family of Carter's Run" ( ).

There has been questionable research on Rodham Lunsford of Fauquier County Virginia. He was not the son of Rodham Lunsford and Lettice Linton of Lancaster County as proposed by many researchers. That Rodham Lunsford (d. 1791) did have a son Rodham by his first wife. But that Rodham (Jr) married Sally Cox in 1794 in Lancaster Co.  VA. The Rodham of this analysis lived in Fauquier at this time and his wife Clement was alive and well in 1807 as she was included in a Ball to Ball land transfer and several chancery causes. Additionally, other linked names, namely Amos and Baldwin, do not seem to connect directly to the Lunsford families of Lancaster and Northumberland. It is unfortunate that some of this erroneous information has been commonly accepted, even by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

The birthplace of Rodham Lunsford has been reported as either Northumberland or Lancaster County. These possibilities were presented in many early genealogies apparently based upon the surname being prevalent in these locations. Without doubt he connects to these families, but the Lunsford name is found throughout Virginia's Northern Neck in the time frame Rodham would have been born, including Prince William and King George counties. His actual place of birth remains a mystery. Likewise, his year of birth is somewhat nebulous. It is generally accepted as 1762 which is based upon his stated age when he filed for his Revolutionary War pension. The census record is very inconsistent in this matter. The year of 1762 falls before the tabular range given in the 1810 census while in the 1840 data it falls later. Suffice it to say this Rodham could not write his name. In all known documents he signed with a mark.

Rodham enlisted in the Virginia Line in Fauquier in March 1779 for a three-year term, enrolling in Capt. Butler's Company. His Lieutenant was Phillip Mallory, his Ensign was Ray Heath, and his General was Charles S. Scott. His unit was stationed in Petersburg, Virginia during the Fall of 1779. They then marched to South Carolina where he was taken prisoner at the siege of Charleston in May of 1780. He was detained as a prisoner even following the surrender of Cornwallis. His time of service amounted to 3 years and 9 months. During his captivity he "suffered every sort of privation".  In his application of 22 Oct 1832, he states he was 70 years of age. He was granted Pension Number S13803 (Historical Records of Old Crab Orchard Lincoln County, Stanford, KY).

Without question Rodham Lunsford had family in Fauquier Co. prior to the Revolution. But defining this family unit has proven difficult. Upon his return from the war, Rodham became the administrator for the estate of Amos Lunsford in 1784 and was ordered to perform an inventory. This he undertook and it is known that a deed was granted to Baldwin Lunsford by Rodham to clear the estate of Amos. Most interesting is that the administration bond was signed by "George (X) Lunsford" and that this George was unquestionably Rodham as noted in the court records. (March 1784 Court; Minute Book 6, page 255).

Rodham married Clement Ball in 1786. In 1792 Baldwin Lunsford married Ann Ball, Clement's sister. This alone leads one to believe Rodham and Baldwin are brothers, but their relationship to Amos (d. 1784) or George (d. 1781) is not clear.

Rodham’s children were all born in Fauquier Co. He moved his family to Lincoln Co. KY ~1807, following the signing of a Ball to Ball Deed in which Benjamin Ball acquired his sister Clement's share of their father's estate (see will below where he accounts for his children). Many early genealogies have referred to Clement Ball as "Clementine". But nowhere in the historical record is she referred to as Clementine. While she was generally referred to as Clement and even Clements, her proper name is "Clemence", having been named after her aunt. The given name itself originates with the Owen family of Middlesex County and likely was derived from the surname of the Clemence family.

Rodham is first listed in the Lincoln Co. KY tax list on 10 Jan 1808 as "Rhodam Lunsford". On the 24 May 1809 list he is listed as "Rwrodum Lunsford" and on the 1811 list as "Rhodunt Lanceford". In each case he is the only white male over age 21 in the household.

Complicating matters, there were three Lunsford family groups residing in Fauquier in the late 1700s. First were the families of NW Fauquier west of Carters Run also known as The Free State. This included Rodham and Baldwin. The second family was in the southern section or Hamilton Parish. They were headed by Jemima (sic) Lunsford (widowed by 1778). The third family resided in the NE District and included George (d. 1781), Amos (d. 1784), Absalom, and James. George Lunsford appears to have lived near Cedar Run.

The initial years for which these early Lunsfords paid taxes in Fauquier were:

Absalom        1792, no further information. Resided NE District.
Amos            1781, Resided NE District. Died intestate 1784, Admin. by
                      Rodham Lunsford. Note: Letter of Administration
                    indicates Rodham also may have been known as "George".
Bailey          1789 paid by Jemima and in 1790 by Hazel (Haisle). Resided
                      South District.
Baldwin        1787 paid by Benjamin Ball. Resided NW District.
George                No tax recorded. Died intestate 1781. Admin. by George
                      Carter. Appears to have resided in NE District.
Haisle          1787, paid by Jemima through 1789.Resided So. District.
James          1796 paid by Richard M. Scott. Resided NE District.
Jemima          1778 (last record 1789). Resided So. District.
Lewis                No year listed but he signed the 1776 religious petition.
Moses          1787 paid by Jemima. Resided So. District.
Nicholas             Bound out to Benjamin Pettit in 1782.
Rodham          1784 initial tax year (following the war). Resided NW District.

Lewis Lunsford listed above was an adult in 1776, over age 21, and thus born before 1755. It is unclear if he connects to the Leeds Parish family. Rodham did however have a son named Lewis. Also, there was a George Lunsford who left an estate in Fauquier in 1781. It was administered by George Carter who, along with George Cordell, posted a bond of £40,000. There is evidence this George Lunsford was of Fauquier Co. as he was a jurist in 1780. Tying the two Lunsford families of Leeds (northern Fauquier) together is Amos whose estate was administered by Rodham who was senior to Baldwin. Rodham may have been the eldest Lunsford available to administer the estate. It is unknown if there was a connection between the family of Jemima Lunsford of Hamilton Parish and those families in Leeds Parish. It is interesting to note that Moses Bailey was one of the appraisers to the estate of George Lunsford. Jemima had sons Bailey and Moses.

I suspect these early Fauquier families are associated in some way with the James Lunsford family of King George. This man was close to the Jeffries, Owens, and Rowley families and those associations carry through later in Fauquier. His will is not extant, and we don't know the members of his immediate family. There was however a James and a John Lunsford in King George in the years prior to the formation of Fauquier Co.

Several genealogies list Merryman Lunsford as a son of Rodham and Clement. He is in fact a DAR approved descendent which is inconsistent with the data. Census records show this man was born in 1782-1784, before Rodham and Clement married. Merryman married in Bedford Co. VA in 1822 and is found residing in Botetourt Co. VA. In 1850 he is listed as a Baptist minister and in 1860 as a farmer. He died prior to 1870. There is no evidence Merryman or "Marrimon" connects to the Rodham Lunsford family.

Another individual some attribute as a daughter of Rodham and Clement is Elizabeth Lunsford who married Isham Gentry 22 Sep 1803 in Lincoln Co. KY. This is several years before Rodham and Clement left Fauquier Co. They removed to Platte Co. MO. This Elizabeth Lunsford may connect to Nelly Lunsford/Langford who was in Lincoln Co. KY prior to the arrival of Rodham. Census data indicates Nelly was born 1771-1780 and widowed between 1795 and 1810, based upon the age of her son in the census record. There is no indication as to the identity of Nelly's husband. Nelly appeared initially on the Lincoln Co. KY tax list in 1792 as "Milly" Langford. As Nelly and Rodham both lived in Crab Orchard there is a strong possibility of a connection.

Cynthia Lunsford is thought by some researchers to be a daughter of Rodham. She married Thomas Yates 11 Jul 1809 in Lincoln Co. KY. No further information has been located, but she is not recognized as a daughter of Rodham in his will. She too may connect to Nelly Lunsford.
Also, of interest is a George Lunsford who married Mary "Polly" Petter 20 Mar 1821 in Lincoln Co. KY and removed to Jasper Co. MO. He was born about 1795 in Kentucky and died before 1860. He is not associated with Rodham and was born following Nelly becoming a widow. This leads to the possibility of at least three Lunsford families residing in early Lincoln County KY.

Research Notes
•Common surname variations found in the historical record: Lunsford, Lunceford, Lunce.
•Common given name variations found in the historical record: Rodham, Rhodam, Rody, Clement,     Clements, Clemmy.
•McGhee, Lucy Kate; "Historical Records of Old Crab Orchard: Lincoln County, Stanford, Kentucky"; Pub. unk; Washington, DC (195?).
•National Archives Film Series M805, Roll 542, File S13803.
•Fauquier Probate/Fiduciary Record 1784-003, Estate of Amos Lunsford. [Rodham Lunsford signs Administration Bond as "George (X) Lunsford"].
•Sutherland, James F. (comp.); "Early Kentucky Households 1787-1811"; Genelaogical Publishing Co.; Baltimore (1986).
•1787 Fauquier Co. VA Tax List 'B'; pg. 30 [Rhodam Lunsford (sic)].
•1799 Fauquier Co. VA Tax List 'B'; pg. 30 [Rhoda Lumford (sic)].
•1810 Lincoln Co. KY; pg. 128 [Roadham Lunceford (sic), Clement, one son and four daughters present].
•1820 Lincoln Co. KY; pg. 67-68 [Rodam Lonceford (sic), Clement, one son and two daughters present].
•1830 Lincoln Co. KY; pg. 367 [Rhasam Lanceford (sic), and Clement, no children, one apparent granddaughter].
•1840 Lincoln Co. KY; pg. 084 [Rodham Lunsford, Clement deceased].
•Letter of 11 Jan 1991 from Mrs. Mabel Singleton of Norris City IL to
Rodham Lunsford Will of 9 Mar 1841
Entered for probate 3 May 1841; (Lincoln Co. KY Will Book 'N'; pg. 216). Punctuation and spelling as supplied courtesy of the DAR. Here Rodham accounted for all his children.

"In the name of God Amen I Rodham Lunceford of the County of Lincoln and State of Kentucky being of Sound and disposing mind and memory do make and ordain this to be my last will and testament hereby revoking all others. And as I have through the blessing of God lived to a good old age, and calling to mind that it is appointed by devine providence for man to die and after that the judgement, It has pleased God in the world to bless me with some property, and having been blessed with a family of children I deem it my duty to make a distribution of the same Item 1st It is my will and desire after my death that my body be buried in a plain Christian like manner.
Item 2nd It is my will and desire that my executors herein after named pay all my just debts if there should be any remaining unpaid at my death,  3rd I give and bequeath to my daughter, Betsy who is intermarried with Daniel Ball the following Negroes, to wit, One Negro woman Jenny which negro she now has in possession, and all the children she now has in possession or any she may hereafter have one negro woman by the name of Keziah and her son Milton and all Said Keziah's children younger than Milton, to her the said Betsy Ball and her heirs forever. 4th I give and bequeath to my daughter Nancy Parks, wife of Reuben Parks the eight hundred and twenty dollars in cash and the negro girl which I heretofore give her which I consider to be one full equal portion of my estate, and it is here fairly understood that she is to have no more of my estate.  Item 5th I give and bequeath to my daughter Hannah, wife of William Parks the one thousand and twenty dollars in cash all of which she has heretofore received which I consider to be her full portion of my estate, and it is here fairly understood she is not to have any more of my estate. 6th I give and bequeath to my daughter Sarah who intermarried with Joel Sartain the four hundred and fifty dollars in cash and the two negro girls all of which she has heretofore received which I consider to be her full portion of my estate and it is here fairly understood that she is not to have any more of my estate. 6th It is my will and desire that executors pay over to my four grand children who is children to my deceased daughter Lucinda who intermarried with Charles Adams two hundred dollars each out of my estate as they may arrive at the age of twenty one years, and it is further to be understood, that Said Executor is not to be chargable with interest until they make application for the money after they become of age. 7th It is further my will and desire and i do hereby give and bequeath to my son Lewis Lunceford the plantation on which I now live containing about three hundred and twenty five acres by deed but he is to have all more or less, Also I give to my said son Lewis all the balance of my negroes and other estate both real and personal of every description after the special legacies are paid of herein named. Lastly I hereby constitute and appoint my said Son Lewis Lunceford Executor of this my last will and testament. In testimony of which I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 9th day of March eighteen hundred and forty one."

John Stone                                   His
                                       Rodham X Luncefore
David Shanks                                 Mark

James D. Ball
Uniontown, Ohio

Friday, August 9, 2019

Friday Flashbacks

A few photos from the not too distant past for a Friday Flashback!

This is a shot from June 8, 2013 of my dad and I at the Mosby Ranger Descendant Reunion held in Middleburg, VA. This was particularly special as 2013 marked the 150th anniversary of the formation of Mosby's Battalion; 43rd VA Cav, CSA. I'm holding a picture of my great-great-grandfather Elijah Chilton Lunceford who was a member of Company-E. So between dad, me and that photo of Elijah surrounded by his daughter-in-law and grand kids, there were five generations of descendants there that day, if in spirit only. (As always please click on an image for a larger view).

And the only remaining artifact I have from my great-grandfather's household, an old serving plate that at one time belonged to Edgar Marshal Lunsford. It was passed to me by my grandmother at the time of their auction sale of the Bob-Dell Farm in Nokesville, VA.

I had this examined by an antique dealer some years back and the consensus was that it most likely dates to the 1920s-1930s. So we really can't tell if it is old enough to have been used while Elijah was living his final days at Edgar's house in Marshall, VA. Regardless, it is a neat thing to have around and we pull it out ever few years to serve a holiday ham. I can only imagine all of the Sunday dinners this thing dished out over the years by several generations of Lunsfords.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Guest Post: What's In A Name?

Recent attempts to satisfy my urge to research family history have led me to continue investigating the family name “Lunsford,” and its derivatives. So, I settled on re-researching a curious item I had stumbled upon previously…The 1850 census record shows that Baldwin was illiterate, which caused me to wonder if he spoke fluent English. Many times, census records are vague or inaccurate when it comes to listing birthplaces, so I wondered if the name might be German or French. This led me to look for the existence of a European town, or other geographic feature that might be named, or provide the name, for our family.

While cruising around on Google Earth one day, I tried putting the name Lunsford in the search bar. The location that came closest to matching was, “Lünsfeld,” (roughly pronounced, “loonz’-felt.”) When I zoomed in on the location it showed a small farming area that had mostly been absorbed by the city of, Freren, Germany. Curiosity about the name of the area led me to look up the definition of the German word, “lüns,” which was an old/ancient word meaning, “the pointed tip of a tool, or lance.” The definition of “feld” is simply, “field.” I looked at the original Lünsfeld area on the satellite image and saw there is a field there with a triangular shape, like a lance point. Similarly, the Dutch word, “luns,” and the German word “lünse” both translate to, “Linchpin,” a wedge-shaped piece of iron often used on wagons to hold a wheel on an axle.

 Searching for the name, “Lünsfeld” also brought up a Dutch genealogy for the name, “Lünsveld,” the word, “veld,” translates to, “field, or land,” in Dutch. In the same genealogy, the name was also spelled, “Lijnsveld.” “Lijns,” means, “line’” in Dutch. So, its rough meaning could be, “Line field; maybe property line or border, or strip of land.” Any connection to any of these names is pure conjecture on my part, but it has always interested me how similar “Lunsford” is to the place-name, “Lünsfeld.” Given the geographic connections to Western-Europe that show up in Lunsford family DNA results, it seems our name is quite universal, phonetically speaking.

 A cross-search provided the German place name, “Lüneburg,” on Wikipedia, it shows, ‘An older reference to the place in the Frankish Imperial annals dated 795 states:…ad fluvium Albim pervenit ad locum, qui dicitur Hliuni... i.e. …on the river Elbe, at the location, which is called “Hliuni”) and refers to one of the three core settlements of Lüneburg; probably the castle on the Kalkburg which was the seat of the Billunger nobles from 951. The Elbe-Germanic name, Hliuni corresponds to the Lombard word for “refuge site.”’** Lüneburg** Ignoring any rules for proper etymology, and just sticking the words together, the name given here from the Low German (old Saxony) for a refuge site, “Hliuni” added to the Low German word for a water crossing, “Ford, or Vörde” would give a very rough version of the name, “Luneford,” possibly meaning, “safe or sheltered, water crossing,” or a, “passage by a ford."

More searching within the area near Freren, we find the area called, “Lünne.” The etymology given within the history found on the German Wikipedia page for Lünne, states that “Lunne (Old North Hlunne=Role) referred to Old Saxon, a place on the river (here over the strong flowing Aa), at which, by means of underlain timber, loads over the river could be brought.” [Badly translated to English by the site.] Further in the article, Lünne is more clearly identified and in the 13th century, the location was divided between Altenlünne, and Plantlünne. The word “alte” means old. The word “plant” is not entirely clear, but could mean new foundations. An additional link within the article leads to the town called, “Haselünne.” It states, “Around 500 AD, a Saxon main courtyard was located in the area of today’s farm. In the nearby river a ford was built by inserting roundwoods (poles or piles, maybe?). These round woods were called “lunni” and they gave the place the name “Lunni,” “Lunne,” and with the river name, “Hassa” = dark water, later = hare [as in hassenpfeffer], finally the name Haselünne.” Further searching brought me to an additional definition of lunne as a name for passage, or a crossing.

Early versions of the name can be taken from some 17th century English pedigrees. The name “de Londresford” had appeared in earlier research on the family of Sir Thomas as possibly Saxon, in origin. The name is mentioned within some of the Coppage family information. The Coppage family claim descent from Sir Thomas Lunsford through, “his son,” William Lunsford, Esq. William, Esq. appears in the list of 65 passengers brought to Virginia by Sir Thomas in about 1649-50. There is no confirmation that this William was Sir Tom’s son, nor whether this William survived after their arrival. More specifically, the name “de Londresford” appears within the Sussex Archaeological Collections, Vol 24; pp. 18-20. The French word “Londres” translates to London, and Londinium, the Roman name given to the city. It was also used by most ancient European countries with the same meaning.

The early family was situated at Londresford (later Lunsford) in Etchingham parish, Sussex before the Norman Conquest in 1066. The place that was called, “Londresford” is now called, “Lundsford Farm” and is located at Etchingham, Sussex. By the turn of the 12th century, they were also established at Whilegh, in East Hoathly, Sussex. Old Wilegh is now a Bed and Breakfast. In 1989, my wife and I visited a place called, “Lunsford Farm,” which is located near Pett, East Sussex. The house there was said to have been built by the grandfather of Sir Thomas, Sir John in the 1500’s. This working farm is now owned by the Dunlop family where they also feature a “glamping” experience on the property. Lunsford’s Cross is located near Bexhill, it’s almost halfway between Lunsford Farm and East Hoathly where Whiley is located. It may have been the site of an early Lunsford manor house. Maybe a stopping point when traveling between the two estates? The term Cross was often used when a village had permission by the ruling Lord to open a market.

We know that the name has evolved quite a bit over the centuries; de Londresford, Lunsford, Luxford, Luncford, Lunceford, etc. And all these derivations can be traced back to the pages of English history without question. But, where was the seat of the Old Saxon de Londresford ancestors before they were in Sussex? It’s entirely possible that the formerly Saxon places called Lünsfeld, or Lünne, might be trying to remind us of our roots.

Tim Lunceford
Independence, MO

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Pretending To Be A Tourist; A Rare History Day in June

In our clan, Saturdays, especially those on picture-perfect late spring days in June are rarely spent following along with a docent for two hours in a cemetery. But this is precisely what we did today. Our Sons of Confederate Veterans camp (Battle of Sharpsburg Camp #1582) arranged for a tour of the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Frederick Maryland. This sacred soil is home to such luminaries as Governor Thomas Johnson Jr. (1732-1819) and Francis Scott Key (1779-1843). But of particular interest to us, over 400 Confederate dead, many unknown, from all points south. Confederate Row is especially moving, as is the monument to the Confederate dead from battles as diverse as South Mountain, Sharpsburg, Gettysburg and Monocacy. During this conflict, our part of western Maryland served as one big field hospital. So naturally many Southern Sons found this to be their final resting place.

It is comforting to see that our historical iconography remains intact here, and we are especially indebted to Chris Haugh, our guide for the day. Please check out his blog; Stories in Stone.

While we are on the topic of historical blogs, Richard Williams has updated his web presence. Besides coining the best term I've seen to date that describes the revisionist nitwits that so infect our historical souls, what he refers to as "the perpetually puckered moral reformer class", his Relics and Bones blog and web site by the same name are first rate.

R. Dwayne Lunsford, PhD