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January 15, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Churches: Trinity Presbyterian Church

Buckingham_Trinity Presbyterian
Photo by Joanne Yeck (2005)

One of the nineteen Buckingham County churches mentioned in Thomas Baldwin’s Gazetteer of the United States (1854) is Trinity Presbyterian Church.  Unlike many of the structures surveyed in the 1930s for the Virginia Historical Inventory, Trinity not only survived the 20th century but is still maintained today.

In 1937, VHI field worker, Rosa Garnett Williams, wrote, “This is a very old church and a very well built one. . . . This building is beautifully located on the brow of a hill off of the highway.” Founded in 1827, near New Canton, Buckingham County, Trinity Presbyterian Church “was built with a gallery so that the slaves in the community would have a place to worship,” wrote Mrs. Williams. “Many prominent families of Buckingham have worshiped at this church namely: the Nicholases who were some of the first people of the state, Guerrants, Fountains, Davises, and many others.”

Two of the “many others” in the congregation were my ancestors John M. Harris (1785-1874) and his second wife and the mother of all of his children, Evelina Ann Moseley (d. 1841).  Evelina Ann had many family members who lived near Buckingham Court House and attended Maysville Presbyterian Church.

Note: Use the search function in the right hand panel to locate previous posts about the nineteen churches active in Buckingham County in 1854.

Update: Other church members include: Holman and Cocke.


Leave a Comment
  1. Harry Stuart Holman / Jan 16 2013 6:16 pm

    Dear Reader,

    One of the most influential members of the community who worshiped here was Mrs. Louisa Cocke of “Bremo,” Fluvanna County. She was the wife of Gen. John Hartwell Cocke, noted reformer and one of the Founders of the University of Virginia (his portrait hangs at The White House). Her Sunday school teacher at Trinity Presbyterian Church was Capt. George Holman of “Spring Garden.” He had married Mrs. Polly Jordan Payne Cocke. She was a second cousin to Mrs. Dolley Payne Todd Madison, wife of President Madison. The Holmans were supposedly buried at Trinity. Their son was buried at Trinity in a marked grave. He was Dr.George Payne Holman who died at “Edgewood,” Bremo Bluff, Virginia, in 1891, aged eighty-one–a physician for many, many years in Christiansburg, Virginia.

    • Joanne Yeck / Jan 16 2013 7:40 pm

      Yes and we may hear more about Mrs. Louisa Cocke of “Bremo” in posts to come!

    • Mary Fleming Trumbull / Mar 27 2014 10:53 am

      I was at Trinity yesterday. George Payne Holman, MD is indeed there with a stone but no dates. His son, Judge William Henry Holman, his wife and all of his children are also buried there.

      • Joanne Yeck / Mar 27 2014 2:28 pm


  2. Sam Towler / Jan 16 2013 10:35 am

    It looks almost exactly like the Courthouse at Palmyra, Fluvanna.

    • Joanne Yeck / Jan 16 2013 10:50 am

      Interestingly, the Fluvanna County Courthouse was built at about the same time and its construction was supervised by a minister.

      “Construction of the courthouse, completed in 1831, was supervised by Walker Timberlake, a Methodist preacher who undertook various architectural and engineering works in the county. Fluvanna’s is one of the state’s few antebellum courthouses to remain without additions and retain its original interior arrangement and many original fittings. The Greek Doric portico of the courthouse features typical Greek columns without bases. Like most antebellum courthouses in Virginia, the columns are not fluted, although that is a hallmark of the Greek Doric order. The Fluvanna courthouse is also distinguished by the extensive use of stone for the column and pilaster capitals, steps, water table, window sills, and lintels. Two levels of windows on the sides as well as the three arched windows at the rear are separated by pilasters. Conspicuously inscribed on the stone lintel above the entrance is: ‘THE MAXIM HELD SACRED BY EVERY FREE PEOPLE – OBEY THE LAWS.'”

      For more see:


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